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4  Ci\ 


A — The  bishop's  throne  in  the  centre  of  the  apse,  with  stalls  on  either 
side  for  the  clergy. 

B  B — The  sanctuary,  or  adytum. 

C — The  altar,  supported  on  four  pillars. 

D — The  sanctuary  gates,  or  holy  doors. 

£  £ — The  altar  rails,  called  also  iconostasis  from  the  sacred  icons,  or 
images,  that  used  to  be  placed  there.  The  entire  space  within  these 
rails  was  called  the  chancel,  from  a  low,  net-work  partition  which  sepa- 
rated it  from  the  rest  of  the  church,  called  in  Latin  cancelli. 

p The  prothesis,  or  cruet-table,  veiled  in  by  a  screen. 

Q — The  diaconicum,  or  sacristy,  generally  in  charge  of  a  deacon. 

\\ — The  place  of  the  male  portion  of  the  congregation,  and  of  that 
class  of  Public  Penitents  known  as  the  Costanders. 

| — The  ambo,  where  the  Epistle  and  Gospel  were  chanted  and  the 
diptychs  read. 

K — The  Beautiful  Gates  (port*  speciosse),  so  called  from  the  beauty 
of  their  workmanship.  Here  a  subdeacon  stood  to  see  that  the  congre- 
gation departed  in  order.  Between  |  and  K  was  the  place  of  the  Pros* 
trate  Penitents. 

L — The  second  porch,  or  narthex;  also  the  Hearers*  Station. 

M — The  Baptisterium. 

N— The  Great  Gates. 

0  0 — The  first  porch  and  Weepers'  Station. 

P — Place  of  the  females,  separated  by  a  partition  from  the  male  poiv 
tion  of  the  congregation,  and  under  the  surveillance  of  what  were  called 
in  the  ancient  Church  deaconesses.  Men  of  note  used  to  be  sometimes 
buried  in  the  porch  or  narthex. 

The  precise  location  of  the  catechumens  is  a  disputed  point;  but  in- 
asmuch as  the  name  was  very  often  employed  in  that  extended  sense, 
meaning  all  who  were  forbidden  to  be  present  at  Divine  Service  proper, 
it  is  generally  supposed  that  they  intermingled  with  the  Penitents  i* 
the  portico. 

History  of  the  Mass 






Rev.  JOHN  O'BRIEN,  A.M., 









c/3  ; 

"I  would  be  willing  to  lay  down  my  life  for  a  single  one  of  tlwft  eremonigfl* 

of  the  Church."— St.  Teresa. 





ST.   BASIW-S£M€MJL8¥ftftTE 

W-      3    0    LL 

«.  /  -  .  t '/ 


New  York,  March  25,  1879. 

A  new  work,  entitled  "  A  History  of  the  Mass  and  its  Ceremonies  in 
the  Eastern  and  Western  Church,"  by  the  Rev.  John  O'Brien,  of  Mount 
St.  Mary's  College,  Emmittsburg,  having  been  carefully  examined  and 
commended  by  competent  judges,  is  hereby  approved  by  us. 

•J*  JAMES,  Archbishop  of  Baltimore. 

Baltimore,  Feast  op  St.  Benedict,  1879. 

Copyright,  1879,  by  John  O'Bbien. 


As  the  question  will  doubtless  be  asked  why  we  have 
presumed  to  write  upon  a  subject  which  has  already  been 
treated  so  largely  and  so  often  by  others,  we  make  the 
same  reply  that  one  of  the  ancient  Fathers  did  when  a 
similar  question  was  proposed  to  him.  "  This  advan- 
tage," said  he,  "we  owe  to  the  multiplicity  of  books  on 
the  same  subject :  that  one  falls  in  the  way  of  one  man, 
and  another  best  suits  the  level  or  comprehension  of  an- 
other. Everything  that  is  written  does  not  come  into 
the  hands  of  all,  and  hence,  perhaps,  some  may  meet 
with  my  book  who  have  heard  nothing  of  others  which 
have  treated  better  of  the  same  subject." 

Although  it  cannot  be  gainsaid  that  the  subject  which 
we  have  undertaken  to  touch  has  been  largely  treated 
already,  and  that  by  more  eminent  writers  than  we,  still, 
when  it  is  borne  in  mind  that  all  those  learned  treatises 
have  been  written  in  one  or  other  of  the  dead  languages, 
and  that,  too,  more  for  the  sake  of  embellishing  some 
public  institution  or  library  than  for  the  enlightenment 
of  the  masses  of  the  people,  we  think  we  owe  no  apo- 

vi  Preface, 

logy  for  writing  a  book  of  the  present  nature  in  English 
suited  to  the  capacity  of  all.  Another  advantage,  too, 
that  our  book  has  over  any  other  which  has  hitherto 
appeared  is  this:  that  it  does  not  confine  itself  to  the 
ceremonies  and  liturgical  customs  of  any  church  in  par- 
ticular, such  as  the  Latin  or  the  Greek,  but  gives  the 
reader  a  general  survey  of  all  the  churches  of  the  East 
and  West  where  a  true  Sacrifice  of  the  Mass  really 
exists.  It  therefore  comprehends  in  its  scope  several 
churches  which  have  long  been  separated  from  the  centre 
of  unity. 

We  wish  our  readers  further  to  understand  that  the 
information  embodied  in  these  pages  has  been  taken  from 
the  most  approved  sources,  and  but  in  a  few  cases,  and 
these  of  minor  note,  taken  second-hand.  Where  there 
was  a  doubt  we  have  expressed  it,  and  whenever  we 
found  ourselves  obliged  to  copy  the  remarks  of  an  au- 
thor upon  whom  we  could  place  but  little  reliance  we 
have  always  noted  the  fact,  in  order  not  to  give  as  cer* 
tain  what  was  at  best  but  doubtful,  and  thus  be  made 
responsible  for  statements  which  could  not  stand  the  test 
of  criticism. 

We  wish  to  remark,  also,  that  our  work  has  not  been 
given  to  the  public  in  undue  haste.  It  has  been  com- 
piled with  a  great  deal  of  care  and  calm  deliberation, 
and  has  been  written  over  and  over  again,  with  new  cor- 
rections and  additions  each  time,  in  order  that  nothing 
might  be  asserted  without  proof  and  nothing   stated  at 

Preface.  ytt 

random  ;  and  although  we  have  not  followed  to  the  let- 
ter the  advice  of  the  pagan  poet  to  keep  it  in  our 
drawer  unto  the  ninth  year,  yet  we  can  assure  our  read- 
ers of  this  much  at  least :  that  seven  years  of  earnest 
and  anxious  labor  have  been  expended  on  it.  There  is 
hardly  a  writer  on  sacred  liturgy  that  we  have  not  con- 
sulted; certainly  we  have  passed  over  no  one  of  any 
note;  and  in  order  that  our  readers,  should  they  feel  so 
inclined,  may  be  enabled  to  collate  our  remarks  with 
the  sources  from  which  we  have  drawn  them,  besides 
giving  our  authorities  through  the  work,  we  have  deemed 
it  well  also  to  attach  an  alphabetical  list  of  them  to  the 
end  of  our  treatise. 

Regarding  the  order  of  the  subject-matter,  we  have  only 
to  say  that  we  have  endeavored  to  treat  each  particular 
portion  as  fully  as  possible  by  itself,  without  running  one 
part  into  another,  and  thus  embarrassing  the  reader;  and 
in  order  to  aid  the  latter  still  more,  we  have  appended 
so  copious  an  index  of  words  that  it  serves,  in  a  measure, 
as  a  sort  of  compendium  to  the  entire  work. 

As  to  the  book's  originality,  we  humbly  confess  that  it 
is  not  new;  and  this  confession  we  make,  not  through 
fear  of  running  counter  to  what  the  Wise  Man  says,  that 
"  there  is  nothing  new  under  the  sun,"  but  simply  be- 
cause we  wish  our  readers  to  lay  more  stress  upon  the 
fact  that  it  is  a  compilation  of  what  the  most  learned 
writers  have  said  upon  the  subject  in  hand  rather  than 
any  effort  of  our  own.      Our  book,  then,  can  be  called 

viii  Preface. 

original  only  in  bo  far  as  its  name  and  the  arrangement 
of  parte  a/e  concerned.  The  labor  of  all  this  is  ours,  and 
ours  only;  ms  for  the  rest,  we  say  in  all  sincerity  with 
Montaigne  :  "  I  have  here  only  made  a  nosegay  of  culled 
flowers,  and  ha^e  brought  nothing  of  my  own  but  the 
string  that  ties  them." 


We  have  cabled  our  book  A  History  of  the  Mass  and 
its  Ceremonies  in  the  Eastern  and  Western  Church,  At 
first  sight  it  seems  an  easy  matter  to  hit  upon  such  a 
title  as  this,  but  we  assure  the  reader  that  it  did  not 
seem  so  to  us.  Many  an  hour  of  serious  meditation  it 
cost  us  before  we  had  satisfied  ourselves  that  the  de- 
signation was  a  happy  one ;  and  all  this  principally  on 
account  of  the  appellations  of  Eastern  and  Western 
Church,  Almost  every  book  that  we  take  in  hands— 
certainly  every  book  of  travels — has  something  to  say 
•about  the  Eastern  Church  and  its  liturgical  customs ; 
yet  we  candidly  confess  that  we  have  never  met  with 
one  which  told  us  with  any  degree  of  satisfaction  or 
clearness  what  this  Eastern  Church  was,  or  which  did 
not  blunder  from  beginning  to  end  in  attempting  to 
describe  its  ceremonies.  Some  are  perpetually  confound- 
ing the  Eastern  Church  with  the  Greek  Church,  and 
the  latter  with  the  Russian,  wholly  forgetting  that  out 
of  Greece  itself   no  Greek   Church  exists,   and  that  the 

Preface.  ix 

Russian  Church  is  no  more  Greek  than  it  is  English 
or  Irish.  Others  imagine  that  by  the  Eastern  Church 
is  meant  that  which  is  included  within  the  Patriarchate 
of  Constantinople ;  but  this,  after  all,  would  be  only  a 
fraction  of  the  East,  for  it  would  leave  out  both  the 
Greek  Church  proper  and  the  Eussian  Church,  each 
of  which  is  wholly  independent  of  Constantinople 
and  independent  the  one  of  the  other.  We  have  met 
some  even  who  have  gravely  committed  it  to  writ- 
ing that  by  the  Eastern  Church  is  meant  the  Syrian 
and  all  its  branches.  Then  add  to  this  those  never- 
ending  and  high-sounding  titles  that  are  constantly 
dinning  our  ears  and  seen  at  the  head  of  almost  every 
review  that  we  take  in  hand,  such  as  "Holy  Orthodox 
Church,"  "  Orthodox  Imperial  Church,"  "  Orthodox 
Church  of  the  East,"  "Holy  Eastern  Church,"  and  so  on 
ad  indefinitum ;  each,  no  doubt,  meaning  something,  but 
quite  unintelligible  without  much  explanation.  The  fact 
Is  that  since  the  fall  of  Constantinople,  in  1453,  there 
has  existed  no  national  church,  if  we  except  the  Maro- 
aite  alone,  to  which  the  appellation  of  Eastern  could, 
with  strictness,  be  given  ;  and  it  is  but  too  well  known 
that  the  correlative  appellation  of  Western  Church  went 
into  desuetude  centuries  before  that  time.  The  two  de- 
signations originally  sprang  up  naturally  and  necessarily 
from  the  division  of  Constantine's  empire  in  the  fourth 
century,  into  that  of  the  East,  with  Constantinople  aa 
its   capital,  and   that   of   the   West,  with  Rome.     Strictly 

X  Preface. 

speaking,  then,  there  are  no  such  organizations  now 
as  the  Eastern  and  Western  Church,  and  here  was 
our  difficulty  in  choosing  a  title.  "How,  then,"  some- 
body will  say,  "  can  you  justify  the  name  of  your 
book  ? "  The  question  is  answered  in  this  way :  If  the 
book  were  a  history,  or  a  geography,  or  anything  of  that 
nature,  it  could  not  be  justified  at  all,  it  would  be  a 
misnomer ;  but  inasmuch  as  it  is  confined  solely  to  eccle- 
siastical ceremonies  and  customs,  all  of  which  are  the 
same  to-day,  with  scarcely  a  perceptible  difference,  as 
they  were  when  a  real  Eastern  and  Western  Church  ex- 
isted, it  cannot  mislead  as  to  its  meaning,  nor  can  it  be 
said  of  it  that  it  has  been  unaptly  chosen.  But  it  can  be 
justified  upon  other  grounds :  Although  the  Catholic 
Church  recognizes  no  Church  to-day  to  which  she  gives 
the  name  of  Eastern  in  its  original  acceptation,  still  it 
must  not  be  forgotten  that  she  has  at  this  time  several 
within  her  communion  whose  location  is  wholly  in  the 
East,  and  which  yet  retain  all  their  ancient  ceremonies 
and  customs.  The  Maronite  Church  is  one  of  these.  It 
celebrates  Mass  and  the  Divine  Office  in  Syriac ;  ad- 
ministers Holy  Communion  in  both  kinds  to  the  laity; 
has  a  married  clergy,  and  enjoys  the  privilege  of  elect- 
ing its  own  patriarch.  The  Chaldean  Church  is  another  4 
it  says  Mass  in  the  ancient  Syro-Chaldaic ;  uses  leav- 
ened bread  in  the  Holy  Eucharist ;  has  a  married  clergy 
also ;  and,  like  all  the  other  churches  of  the  East,  is 
under  the  immediate  jurisdiction  of    a  patriarch.     Then 

Preface.  xi 

tt»ere  is  the  Church  of  the  Uniat  or  Melchite  Greeks ;  it 
still  celebrates  in  the  ancient  Greek ;  like  the  Maronite 
and  Chaldean,  it  has  a  married  clergy  ;  like  them,  also, 
it  administers  Holy  Communion  under  both  species,  and 
enjoys  the  singular  privilege  of  reciting  the  Creed,  even 
in  presence  of  the  Pope  himself,  without  being  obliged 
to  add  the  celebrated  "  Filioque."  These  are  but  a  few 
of  the  many  churches  in  the  East  which  still  retain 
their  ancient  ceremonies  and  customs;  but  as  we  shall 
have  frequent  occasion  to  refer  to  them  again  in  course 
of  the  present  work,  this  passing  notice  must  suffice 


Our  duty  would  be  but  half  discharged  did  we  pass 
by  unnoticed  the  Oriental  Schismatic  Church,  which 
forms  so  large  a  part  of  Eastern  Christendom  and  runs 
side  by  side  with  the  Catholic  Church  in  all  the  Eastern 
regions.  This  Church  may  be  thus  divided :  Firsts 
into  the  Church  of  the  Eussian  Empire ;  secondly,  into 
that  within  the  Turkish  Empire,  with  Constantinople  as 
capital ;  thirdly,  into  the  Church  of  the  kingdom  of 
Greece.  We  ask  the  reader  to  bear  this  division  care- 
fully in  mind,  for  numberless  mistakes  are  made  for  want 
of  due  attention  to  it,  and  to  remember  at  the  same 
time  that  all  these  churches  are  wholly  independent  of 
one  another,  in  temporals  as   well   as   in  spirituals  ;   and 

xii  Preface, 

that  they  hold  no  intercommunion  whatever,  unless  in  so 
far  as  common  charity  or  civility  would  dictate.  The 
Church  of  the  Eussian  Empire,  at  one  time  under  the 
immediate  control  of  the  Archbishop  of  Moscow,  and 
subsequently  ruled  by  a  patriarch,  is  now  at  the  sole 
mercy  of  the  "  Holy  Synod  of  St.  Petersburg,"  and,  though 
it  would  scorn  to  avow  it,  is  to  all  intents  and  purposes 
a  tool  in  the  hands  of  the  Czar,  for  without  his  sanc- 
tion no  change  in  the  existing  order  of  things  can  be 
made — not  even  can  a  council  be  convoked  without  first 
humbly  asking  his  permission.  This  church  uses  the 
same  liturgies  and  ceremonies  as  the  Greek  Church,  and 
agrees  with  it  in  every  point  of  discipline,  save  that  it 
says  Mass  in  the  Sclavonic  language. 

The  church  within  the  Turkish  Empire  is  made  up 
of  the  four  Patriarchates  of  Constantinople,  Alexandria, 
Antioch,  and  Jerusalem.  Constantinople,  the  headquar- 
ters of  the  Ottoman  Empire,  is  also  the  chief  patriarchal 
seat,  and  still  rejoices  in  the  proud  title  of  New  Eome. 
The  Sultan  is  virtually  the  head  of  this  church,  and, 
though  they  would  fain  deny  it,  its  bishops  and  patri- 
archs are  forced  to  confess  that  he  is  the  supreme  and 
final  arbiter  in  every  important  dispute.  Of  so  vast  an 
extent  is  this  division  of  the  Eastern  Church  that  it  in- 
cludes within  its  limits  people  who  celebrate  Mass  in 
nine  different  languages — viz.,  in  Latin,  Greek,  Syriac, 
Armenian,  Coptic,  Ethiopic,  Chaldean,  Sclavonic,  and 

Preface.  xiil 

The  Church  of  the  kingdom  of  Greece,  though  nomi- 
nally governed  by  the  Synod  of  Athens,  is  as  much  a 
creature  of  the  state  as  that  of  Constantinople  or  Kus- 
gia,  for  it  depends  for  its  entire  movement  and  being 
upon  the  will  of  the  reigning  monarch.  It  acknow- 
ledges no  submission  whatever  to  Constantinople,  nor  to 
any  other  branch  of  the  Eastern  Church. 

Although  these  three  great  divisions  of  the  Oriental 
Church  include  within  their  pale  several  churches  which 
are  both  heretical  and  schismatical  at  the  same  time, 
still,  as  far  as  validity  of  orders  is  concerned,  the 
Holy  See  has  expressed  her  doubt  of  none  save  of  the 
Abyssinian.  The  so-called  Eastern  Church  has,  therefore, 
a  true  priesthood,  a  true  sacrifice  of  the  Mass,  and  valid 
sacraments;  hence  its  claim  to  our  attention.  But  it  has 
another  claim  which  ought  not  to  be  passed  by  unnoticed 
here ;  its  singular  devotion  to  the  ever-blessed  Mother  of 
God.  This  may  be  considered  the  great  redeeming  fea- 
ture of  the  Eastern  Church,  and  it  is  to  be  hoped  that, 
in  consideration  of  it,  she  whose  glorious  prerogative  it 
is  to  destroy  all  heresies  in  the  Church  may,  by  her 
powerful  intercession  at  the  throne  of  her  Divine  Son, 
establish  a  lasting  union  between  the  East  and  West,  so 
that  Christ's  Yicar  may  sing  once  more,  as  he  sang  at 
the  Council  of  Florence,  "  Let  the  heavens  rejoice  and 
the    earth   burst  forth    In    songs  of  gladness." 

In  concluding  our  Preface  we  beg  leave  to  remark 
that  no  attempt  whatever   at  what   is  called   style   has 

xir  Preface 

been  made  in  the  following  pages.  Our  aim  has  been, 
from  beginning  to  end,  to  give  the  reader  plain  facts, 
with  little  or  no  dressing,  and  to  keep  steadily  in  view 
that  golden  advice  of  St.  Augustine,  to  wit,  that  it  is 
better  to  endure  blame  at  the  hands  of  the  critics  than  say\ 
anything  which  the  people  might  not  understand — "  Me- 
lius est  reprehendant  nos  grammatici,  quam  non  intelli- 
gent populi  "  (ad  Ps.  cxxxviii.) 

Whatever  we  have  stated  may  be  relied  upon—if  not 
relied  upon  as  absolutely  true,  yet  at  least  in  tha  sense 
that  it  is  a  faithful  rendering  of  the  views  of  the  author 
from  whom  it  was  taken.  Further  than  this  it  would 
not  be  fair  to  hold  us  responsible.  J.  «VB. 

Mt.  St.  Mart's   Collkgk,   Emmittsbubo,  Martlakd, 

Feat*  tof  the  Immaculate  Conception,  December  8,  1818. 



Brief  Dissertation  on  the  Principal  Liturgies  in  Use  in 

the  East  and  the  West  at  the  Present  Day,  .        .      xix 

The  Mass— Origin  of  the  Word, 1 

Sacred  Vestments, 35 

Sacred  Vessels, 69 

Chalice  Linens, 83 

The  Manner  of  Reserving  the  Blessed  Sacrament,        ...        87 

Incense, ••••92 

Sacred  Music  and  Musical  Instruments,         .       .       •       •       •       95 

S?i  Contents. 



The  Varying  Rites  within  the  Church, 103 

The  Altar, 113 

Relics, 121 

Crucifixes  and  Crosses, 12g 

usMs, 132 

The  Tabernacle, 137 

The  Missal.     .       .  «OA 

Bells,     . 


Bread  used  for  Consecration, 153 

Wine.      . 


Contents.  xvii 



Number  of  Masses  that  a  Priest  may  say  upon  the  Same  Day,     .      168 

Concelebration, 173 

Customs  relating  to  the  Celebration  of  Mass,        •       «       •       .      176 

The  Celebration  of  Mass— The  Introit, 195 

The  Sermon, 241 

The  Celebration  of  Mass— The  Creed, 249 

The  Celebration  of  Mass— -The  Offertory,        ....  266 

The  Celebration  of  Mass— The  Preface, 288 

The  Celebration  of  Mass — The  Canon, 295 

The  Celebration  of  Mass — The  Consecration,        ....      324 

xviii  Contents. 



The  Celebration  of  Mass— The  Pater  Noster,        ....      355 

The  Celebration  of  Mass— Communion  of  the  People,         .        .369 


Principal  Liturgies  in  use  in  the  East  and  West  at  the 
Present  Day. 

For  the  better  understanding  of  the  matter  treated  of  in 
the  following  pages  we  deem  it  well  to  give  the  reader  a 
brief  account  of  the  Liturgies  in  use  in  the  Eastern  and 
Western  Church  at  the  present  day. 

To  give  anything  like  a  full  history  of  the  various  Eastern 
Liturgies  would,  indeed,  be  a  very  laborious  undertaking, 
and,  we  have  serious  reasons  to  fear,  a  very  unsuccessful  one 
also,  for  their  name  is  legion — the  Jacobites  alone  using  as 
many  as  forty.  We  shall,  therefore,  wholly  confine  ourselves 
to  such  as  are  in  general  and  daily  use,  and  leave  the  rest  to 
be  treated  of  by  those  writers  who  make  pure  Liturgy  the 
burden  of  their  writing. 

It  would  not  be  very  bold  to  assert  that  the  only  living 
Liturgies  in  free  circulation  throughout  the  East  at  the  pre- 
sent day  are  those  of  St.  John  Chrysostom  and  St.  Basil  the 
Great.  Both  of  these  are  used  now  in  their  entirety,  such 
as  they  were  when  they  came  from  the  hands  of  the  great 
men  whose  names  they  bear  ;  and  this  can  be  said  of  none  of 
the  other  Eastern  Liturgies.  The  Liturgy  of  St.  Basil  is 
very  often  called  the  Caesarean  Office,  from  the  fact  that  its 
author  was  Bishop  of  Caesarea,  in  Cappadocia.      It  is  the 


A  brief  Dissertation  on  the  Principal  Liturgies. 

parent  of  the  Armeno- Gregorian  Kite.  The  Liturgy  of  St. 
Chrysostom  is  usually  inscribed  "  the  Divine  Liturgy  of  our 
Holy  Father  among  the  Saints,  John  of  the  Golden  Mouth." 
From  this  many  of  the  later  forms  in  use  among  the  Nesto- 
rians  are  derived.  The  Liturgy  of  St.  James,  first  Bishop  of 
Jerusalem,  is  very  frequently  spoken  of  in  connection  with 
the  Maronites  and  Syrians,  but  it  is  a  well-known  fact  that 
the  living  Liturgies  of  both  these  peoples  have  little  more 
of  St.  James's  in  them  than  a  few  shreds.  The  Maro- 
nites are  very  fond  of  referring  their  Liturgy  to  that  vene- 
rable norma  because  it  has  the  impress  of  antiquity,  it  being 
the  general  opinion  of  liturgical  writers  that  it  is  the  oldest 
in  existence  ;  but  in  reality  their  Liturgy  as  it  stands  now  is 
nothing  else  but  a  collection  of  excerpta  taken  from  other 
Liturgies,  and  as  often  called  by  the  name  of  St.  John  Maro 
as  by  that  of  St.  James  the  Apostle.  The  fact  is  that,  if  we 
except  the  Church  of  Jerusalem  and  a  few  islands  in  the 
Archipelago  which  employ  it  on  certain  occasions,  the  Litur- 
gy of  St.  James  has  no  circulation  to-day  in  its  original 
form  anywhere.  The  same  may  be  said  of  the  Liturgy  of  St. 
Mark,  at  one  time  in  exclusive  use  throughout  the  Patriarchate 
of  Alexandria,  and,  in  fact,  of  every  other  primitive  Liturgy 
known  ;  so  that  we  repeat  what  we  stated  at  the  outset,  that 
the  Liturgies  of  St.  John  Chrysostom  and  St.  Basil  the 
Great  have  almost  undisturbed  sway  in  the  East  to-day. 
They  are  used  by  Catholics  and  schismatics  alike.  Dr. 
Neale  attributes  all  this  to  the  influence  of  Balsamon,  Ca- 
tholic Patriarch  of  Antioch  in  the  beginning  of  the  thir- 
teenth century,  who,  it  appears,  went  heart  and  soul  for 
shaping  everything  Eastern  by  the  standard  of  the  New 
Rome.  Although  Neale  speaks  somewhat  disparagingly  of 
this  learned  prelate,  still,  as  he  tells  the  story  in  full  of  how 
the  Liturgies  of  Constantinople  made  their  way  into  the 
East,  we  give  his  words  without  change  of  any  kind.     He 

A  brief  Dissertation  on  the  Principal  Liturgies.      xxi 

speaks  as  follows :  "  Of  the  normal  Liturgies,  those  of  St. 
James  and  St.  Mark  were  used  by  the  churches  of  Antioch 
and  Alexandria,  respectively,  till  the  time  of  Theodore  Bal- 
samon.  This  prelate  was  a  complete  Oriental  Ultramon- 
tane; everything  was  to  be  judged  by  and  squared  to  the 
rule  of  Constantinople.  The  Bellarmine  or  Orsi  of  the 
Eastern  Church,  he  was  for  abolishing  every  formulary  not 
adopted  by  the  oecumenical  patriarch,  and  endeavored  suc- 
cessfully to  intrude  the  forms  of  Constantinople  on  the 
whole  East.  Consulted  by  Mark  of  Alexandria  as  to  the 
degree  of  authority  which  attached  to  the  Liturgies  of  St. 
James  and  St.  Mark,  he  wholly  condemns  them  as  not 
mentioned  by  Holy  Scripture  or  the  Canons,  'but  chiefly 
because,'  says  he,  'the  Catholic  Church  of  the  most  holy 
oecumenical  throne  of  Constantinople  does  in  nowise  ac- 
knowledge them.'  The  way  in  which  Balsamon  treats  these 
offices,  more  venerable  than  his  own,  and  that  in  which 
Eome  has  abrogated  the  Gallican  and  Mozarabic  missals, 
are  surely  marvellously  alike.  From  that  time  the  Constan- 
tinopolitan  Liturgies  of  St.  Basil  and  St.  Chrysostom  have 
prevailed  over  the  whole  orthodox  East,  except  that  the 
Office  of  St.  James  is  used  in  the  Church  of  Jerusalem  and 
m  some  of  the  islands  of  the  Archipelago  on  the  festival  of 
that  Apostle  "  {History  of  the  Holy  Eastern  Church,  General 
Introduction,  vol.  i.  p.  318). 

To  enter,  then,  into  more  specific  detail,  the  Liturgy  of 
St.  Chrysostom  is  used,  first,  by  the  Russian  Church  in  the 
empire  of  Russia  itself  and  throughout  all  the  imperial 
dominions ;  not,  indeed,  in  its  Greek  form,  but  in  the 
Sclavonic,  for  that  is  the  liturgical  language  in  all  those 
parts.  It  is  also  used  in  the  kingdom  of  Greece  and  its 
dependencies,  and  has  universal  sway  among  the  Mingre- 
iians,  Wallachians,  Ruthenians,  Rascians,  Bulgarians,  and 
Albanians,  as  well  as  with  all  the  Uniat  or  Melchite  Greeks 

xxii       A  brief  Dissertation  on  the  Principal  Liturgies. 

of  the  four  Patriarchates  of  Constantinople,  Alexandria, 
Antioch,  and  Jerusalem.  The  United  Greeks  of  Italy  and 
those  of  the  Austrian  Empire  use  it  also. 

Together  with  this  Liturgy,  m  all  the  places  mentioned, 
runs  that  of  St.  Basil  the  Great,  but  it  is  not  called  as  often 
into  requisition.  The  Liturgy  of  St.  Chrysostom  is  employed 
throughout  the  entire  year,  on  week-days  as  well  as  on  Sun- 
days and  festivals,  with  the  following  exceptions  :  viz.,  the 
vigils  of  Christmas  and  the  Epiphany,  the  Feast  of  St.  Basil 
(January  1),  all  the  Sundays  of  Lent  except  Palm  Sunday, 
Holy  Thursday  and  Holy  Saturday.  On  these  excepted  oc- 
casions the  Liturgy  of  St.  Basil  is  used,  and  on  the  ferial 
days  of  Lent  the  service  of  the  Presanctified— called  also  the 
Presanctified  Liturgy—is  used  instead  of  both. 


The  Liturgies  of  the  Western,  or  Latin,  Church  need  no* 
thing  more  at  our  hands  than  a  passing  notice  ;  for,  with  the 
exception  of  one  or  two  normas,  which  are  better  called  rites 
than  Liturgies— viz.,  the  Ambrosian  and  Mozarabic— the  So- 
man has  undisturbed  and  universal  sway.  Of  the  two  ex- 
ceptions named— the  former  peculiar  to  the  ancient  Church 
of  Milan,  the  latter  confined  to  the  city  of  Toledo,  in  Spaii? 
— a  full  account  is  given  in  another  part  of  our  work,  so  that 
more  need  not  be  said  of  them  here.  As  for  the  so-called 
Gallican  and  Lyonese  Liturgies,  they  are  now  things  of  the 
past.  The  few  vestiges  that  yet  remain  to  tell  that  they 
had  at  one  time  a  place  in  the  Church  will  be  noticed  in  due 
course ;  as  will  also  the  fragments  that  are  left  us  of  the 
celebrated  Eite  of  Sarum,  which  at  one  time  formed  the 
chief  glory  of  the  English  Church. 

In  concluding  our  dissertation  we  beg  leave  to  direct  the 
reader's  attention  to  the  following  important  fact:    viz., 

A  brief  Dissertation  on  the  Principal  Liturgies,   xxm 

that  throughout  the  entire  East  the  word  Liturgy  (from 
the    Greek    Ultov,  public,    and   epyov,   a  work)    means 
always  the  norma  of  the  Mass,  and  no  more ;  but  in  the 
West  it  is  the  complexus  of  all  the  rites  and   ceremonies 
that  are  used  by  the  Church  in  the  administration  of  the 
Sacraments  and  in  all  her  sacred  offices.     It  is  well  to  keep 
this  in  mind,  for  some  are  perpetually  confounding  Liturgy 
and  Rubrics,  thinking  that  both  mean  one  and  the  same 
thing.     There  is  about  the  same  difference  between  them  as 
between  mathematics  and  arithmetic.     The  one  includes  the 
other  and  a  great  deal  more  besides.     The  Rubrics,  accord- 
ing to  the  primitive  acceptation  of  the  word,  are  nothing 
but  the  directions   given  in  red  letters   for  the  due  per- 
formance  of  any  particular  ceremony ;   when  reduced  to  a 
regular  system  or  science  they  are  the  elucidation  of  these 
directions,  and  nothing  more.     But  the  aim  of  Liturgy  is  of 
a  far  more  comprehensive  and  elevated  nature,  for  it  takes 
in  everything  that  is  in  any  way  connected  with  the  sacred 
functions  of  the  Church. 



As  to  the  origin  of  the  word  Mass  liturgical  writers  are 
not  entirely  agreed.  According  to  some,  it  comes  from  the 
Hebrew  "mwa,"  Massah,  a  debt  or  obligation;  others 
derive  its  name  from  the  Greek  "  fAvrjoiS"  Myesis,  initia- 
tion ;  whilst  a  third  class  maintain  that  it  is  nothing  else 
but  an  improved  form  of  the  old  obsolete  Mes  or  Messe; 
which,  with  the  people  of  Northern  Europe,  meant  a  ban- 
quet or  convivial  gathering,  and  not  unfrequently  also  a 

The  great  body,  however,  of  liturgical  writers  are  in  favor 
of  deriving  it  from  the  Latin  "  Missa"  or  "  Missio,"  a  dis- 
missal, referring  to  the  custom  in  vogue  during  the  first  five 
or  six  centuries  of  the  Christian  Church — when  the  Disci- 
plina  Arcani,  or  Discipline  of  the  Secret,*  prevailed — of  dis- 

1  From  the  same  root  are  the  affixes  in  such  words  as  Christmas,  ChUdermcu 
Michaelmas,  Lammas,  etc.  (Holy  Days  of  the  English  Church,  p.  154). 

9  The  Disciplina  Arcani,  or  Discipline  of  the  Secret,  was  a  law  enforced  by  the  early 
Christian  Church,  in  virtue  of  which  the  principal  mysteries  of  our  holy  faith  weit 
concealed  from  pagans,  infidels,  and  all  who  had  not  been  regenerated  by  the  saving 
waters  of  baptism  ;  and  this  in  accordance  with  the  solemn  admonition  of  our  Divina 
Lord  himself  not  to  cast  pearls  before  swine  or  give  what  was  holy  to  dogs  (Matt.  vii. 
6).  This  discipline  prevailed  in  the  Eastern  Church  until  the  end  of  the  fifth  century, 
and  in  the  Western  until  about  the  middle  of  the  sixth  (Ferraris,  art.  Discip.  Arcani, 

%  The  Mass— Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

missing  the  Catechumens*  and  Public  Penitents4  from  the 
house  of  God  before  the  more  solemn  part  of  divine  service 

From  the  twofold  dismissal — viz.,  that  of  the  Catechu- 
mens at  the  beginning  of  Mass,  and  the  other,  of  the  faith- 
ful, at  the  end — the  entire  service  used  to  be  known  by  the 
plural  appellations  of  Missce  or  Missiones  (that  is,  the  dis- 
missals) ;  and  hence  the  import  of  such  phrases  so  often  to 
be  met  with  in  the  writings  of  the  early  Fathers,  as  * '  inter 
Missarum  solemnia,"  "  Missas  facere,"  and  "  Missas  tenere." 
Hence,  also,  the  twofold  division  known  as  the  "  Mass  of 
the  Catechumens"  and  the  "Mass  of  the  Faithful,"  the 
former  extending  from  the  beginning  to  the  Offertory,  the 
latter  from  the  Offertory  to  the  end. 


One  of  the  strongest  arguments  against  the  Hebrew  origin 
of  the  word  Mass  is  that  none  of  the  Oriental  Fathers  ever 
made  use  of  Massah,  but  always  employed  a  different  word. 
With  them  it  was  styled  indifferently  by  the  following 
names :  Mystagogia,  By  n  axis,  Anaphora,  Eulogia,  Hierur- 
gia,  Mysterion,  Deipnon,  Teleion,  Agathon,  Prosphora,  and 

It  was  called  Mystagogia  by  St.  Dionysius,  from  the  fact 

8  Catechumen,  from  the  Greek  Kar^x"^  I  teach  by  word  of  month.  Under  the  de- 
nomination of  Catechumens  came  all  those  who  were  undergoing  instructions  at  the 
hands  of  catechists  previous  to  their  reception  of  baptism.  According  to  the  most 
generally  received  opinion,  there  were  two  orders  of  Catechumens  :  the  Hearers,  or  thos© 
who  merely  expressed  a  wish  to  become  Christians ;  and  the  Elect  or  Competent,  who 
had  passed  through  the  course  of  training  that  was  necessary  for  the  reception  of 

4  Of  the  Public  Penitents  there  were  four  distinct  classes,  viz.:  the  Weepers,  whose 
place  was  in  the  porch,  or  first  narthex ;  the  Hearers,  who  stood  in  the  second  narthex  ; 
the  Prostrates,  whose  place  was  near  the  ambo  ;  and  the  Costanders,  who  stood  with 
the  faithful  in  the  upper  part  of  the  nave.    (See  frontispiece.) 

Different  Kinds  of  Mass,  3 

that  it  was  a  divine  participation  of,  or  initiation  into,  the 
sacred  mysteries.  It  was  termed  Synaxis,  or  the  union, 
because  in  virtue  of  it  we  are  all  united  with  Christ  our 
Saviour.  The  name  Anaphora  was  applied  to  it  from  the 
fact  that  it  raises  our  minds  and  hearts  to  God.  The  term 
Eulogia  was  given  it  from  its  propitiatory  nature  ;  Hierur- 
gia,  because  it  was  a  sacred  action  ;  Mysterion,  from  the  mys- 
teries it  contained ;  and  Deipnon,  or  banquet,  from  the  fact 
that  it  gave  us  the  living  Bread  unto  the  eternal  nourish- 
ment of  our  souls.  Then,  again,  it  was  called  Teleion,  or 
perfection,  because  it  was  the  sacrifice  of  that  Holy  Lamb, 
without  spot  or  blemish,  who  came  upon  earth  to  be  the 
perfection  and  completion  of  the  ancient  law.  Its  name 
Agathon,  or  good,  was  given  it  because  it  is  the  only  lasting 
good  upon  which  man  can  count ;  and  from  the  fact  that  it 
finally  conducts  us  to  the  happy  end  for  which  we  were 
created,  the  appellation  of  Prosphora  was  given  it  also.  01 
all  these  names  enumerated,  that  of  Liturgia  was  most 
frequently  used,  and  is  exclusively  used  at  the  present  day 
throughout  the  entire  East. 


From  the  various  circumstances  attending  the  celebration 
of  Mass,  from  the  ceremonies6  employed,  and  the  peculiar 
end  for  which  it  is  offered,  different  names  have  been  given 
to  qualify  it,  such  as  Solemn  High  Mass,  Simple  High  Mass, 
Low  Mass,  Conventual  Mass,  Bridal  or  Nuptial  Mass,  Golden 
Mass,  Private  Mass,  Solitary  Mass,  Votive  Mass,  Dry  Mass, 

*  The  word  ceremony  owes  its  origin  to  a  singular  circumstance.  When  Rome  was 
sacked  by  the  Gauls,  the  Vestal  Virgins,  in  order  to  escape  with  their  lives  and  preserve 
their  honor,  fled  the  city,  carrying  with  them  all  their  sacred  utensils,  and  repaired  to  the 
ancient  city  of  Caere,  in  Tuscany.  Here  they  received  a  most  cordial  reception,  and 
here  they  remained  until  quietness  reigned  at  Rome.  To  perpetuate  the  kind  hospi- 
tality of  the  people  of  Ceere  towards  the  Vestals,  the  sacred  rites,  and  all  pertaining 
to  them,  were  called  ceremonies  ever  after  (Gavantus,  Thesaur.  Sacr  Bit..  2). 

4  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc*, 

Evening  and  Midnight  Mass,  Mass  of  the  Presanctified,  Mass 
of  Requiem,  and  Mass  of  Judgment. 

Solemn  High  Mass. — When  Mass  is  celebrated  with 
deacon  and  subdeacon  and  a  full  corps  of  inferior  min- 
isters, it  is  denominated  a  Solemn  High  Mass.  In  many 
places  of  Europe  the  name  grand  is  given  it  on  account  of 
its  ritualistic  display.  It  is  called  high  from  the  fact  that 
the  greater  part  of  it  is  chanted  in  a  high  tone  of  voice. 
When  there  is  neither  deacon  nor  subdeacon  ministering,  a 
Mass  of  this  kind  receives  the  name  of  Simple  High  Mass,  or 
Missa  Cantata. 

Low  Mass. — Low  Mass  is  so  called  from  its  being  said  in 
a  low  tone  of  voice,  in  contradistinction  to  High  Mass,  which 
is  chanted  aloud.  At  a  Mass  of  this  kind  the  usual  marks 
of  solemnity  are  dispensed  with.  It  is,  in  great  part,  read 
by  the  priest  in  an  ordinary  tone  of  voice,  without  any 
assistants  save  the  server,  who  answers  the  responses  in  the 
name  of  the  people  and  administers  to  the  wants  of  the 

Conventual  Mass. — Conventual  Mass,  strictly  speaking,  is 
that  which  the  rectors  and  canons  attached  to  a  cathedral 
are  required  to  celebrate  daily  after  the  hour  of  Tierce — that 
is,  at  about  nine  o'clock. 

According  to  several  authorities  of  note,  this  Mass  is  also 
of  obligation  in  convents  where  the  Blessed  Sacrament  is 
kept,  and  even  in  rural  churches  which  enjoy  the  same  pri- 
vilege (De  Herdt,  i.  14).  Conventual  Mass  is  also  known 
by  the  several  names  of  Canonical,  Public,  Common,  and 
Major.  The  last  appellation  is  given  it  on  account  of  the 
peculiar  privileges  it  enjoys  over  ordinary  Masses. 

Bridal  or  Nuptial  Mass. — It  has  always  been  the  wish  of 
the  Church  that  at  the  solemnization  of  holy  matrimony 
Mass  should,  if  possible,  be  offered  in  behalf  of  the  newly- 
married  couple,  in  order  that  Almighty  God  may  bless  their 

Different  Kinds  of  Mass.  5 

union  and  favor  them  with  a  happy  offspring.  A  special 
service  is  set  apart  in  the  Missal  for  this  end,  called  in  La- 
tin "  Missa  pro  Sponso  et  Sponsa" — i.e.,  Mass  for  the  Bride- 
groom and  Bride — and  the  Mass  itself  is  considered  among 
the  privileged,  for  it  may  be  celebrated  on  days  of  great- 
er rite  (Bouvry,  Expositio  Rubricarum,  ii.  601). 

At  a  Mass  of  this  kind  a  few  ceremonies  may  be  seen 
which  are  peculiar  to  it  alone.  As  far  as  the  "  Pater  Fos- 
ter "  it  differs  in  nothing  from  an  ordinary  Mass ;  but  when 
the  priest  has  come  to  that  part  of  the  service  immediately 
before  the  "  Libera  nos,"  he  stands  at  the  Epistle  corner  of 
the  altar,  and,  having  turned  towards  the  bride  and  bride- 
groom, who  are  kneeling  in  front  of  him,  reads  over  them 
from  the  Missal  two  prayers  upon  the  nature  and  solemnity 
of  their  union.  This  being  done,  the  bridal  party  retire  to 
their  places,  and  the  Mass  goes  on  as  usual  until  the  time 
of  the  last  blessing.  Here  the  priest  turns  round  to  the 
party  again,  and  reads  over  them  the  following  prayer : 
"  The  God  of  Abraham,  the  God  of  Isaac,  and  the  God  of 
Jacob  be  with  you ;  may  he  shower  his  blessing  upon  you, 
that  you  may  behold  your  children's  children  unto  the  third 
and  fourth  generation  ;  and  may  you  enjoy  afterwards  eter- 
nal, unending  life  through  the  help  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ, 
who  with  the  Father  and  the  Holy  Ghost  liveth  and  reigneth 
God,  world  without  end.  Amen."  After  this  the  priest  is 
directed  to  admonish  the  newly-married  pair  of  the  mutual 
faith  and  love  they  owe  each  other,  and  of  the  obligations 
they  are  under  to  remain  continent  on  those  occasions  that 
the  Church  has  set  apart  for  special  prayer  and  fasting. 
They  are  finally  exhorted  to  live  in  the  fear  of  God.  The 
priest  then  sprinkles  them  with  holy  water,  and  Mass  con- 
cludes as  usual. 

Bridal  Mass  according  to  the  Sarum  Rite. — According  to 
the  Sarum  rite,  of  which  we  shall  give  a  full  account  fur- 

6  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

ther  on,  Bridal  Mass  was  celebrated  with  peculiar  and  inte- 
resting ceremonies.  The  marriage  itself  was  performed  at  the 
church  door,  in  order  that  all  might  witness  it.  From  this 
the  priest  led  up  the  married  couple  to  the  altar-steps,  where 
he  prayed  over  them  and  begged  also  the  prayers  of  the  peo- 
ple in  their  behalf.  Mass  was  then  begun,  and  the  moment 
the  "Sanctus"  bell  sounded  the  newly-married  knelt  near 
the  foot  of  the  altar,  while  some  of  the  clerics  of  the  sanc- 
tuary held  over  them  a  large  pall  commonly  called  the  care 
cloth.  This  cloth  was  not  removed  until  a  little  before  the 
"  Pax."  The  bride  was  required  on  this  occasion  to  allow 
her  hair  to  flow  moderately  upon  her  shoulders,  and  wear, 
if  her  circumstances  allowed  it,  a  wreath  of  jewels,  or  at 
least  of  flowers,  upon  her  head.' 

The  dress  of  Margaret,  eldest  daughter  of  Henry  VII., 
King  of  England,  when  going  to  be  married  to  King  James 
of  Scotland,  is  thus  described  by  Pauper  :  "  She  had  a  varey 
riche  coller  of  gold,  of  pyerrery  and  perles  round  her  neck, 
and  the  cronne  apon  hyr  hed,  her  hayre  hangyng."  Just 
before  the  "Pax"  the  priest  turned  round  to  the  new  couple 
and  imparted  the  marriage  blessing,  after  which  the  care 
cloth  was  removed.  The  "  Pax  "  was  then  given  according 
to  the  ancient  mode,  and  not  with  the  Pacifical.  The  bride- 
groom received  it  first  from  the  priest  at  the  altar,  and  then 
bestowed  it  on  his  spouse.  After  Mass  bread  and  wine,  hal- 
lowed by  the  priest's  blessing,  used  to  be  distributed  among 
all  the  friends  of  the  newly-married  couple  who  happened  to 
be  in  church  during  the  ceremonies. 

According  to  the  rite  followed  at  York,  the  nuptial  bless- 
ing was  generally  given  by  the  priest  with  the  chalice,  and 
this  on  account  of  the  great  dignity  of  the  Sacrament  of 
Matrimony.  (The  reader  who  wishes  to  see  more  upon  this 
subject    will  do  well    to  consult  that  excellent    work   of 

6  In  mediaeval  art  the  Blessed  Virgin  is  always  represented  in  this  way. 

Different  Kinds  of  Mass,  7 

Dr.  Rock  known  as  the  Church  of  our  Fathers,  vol.   lii. 
part  2,  172.) 

Golden  Mass  (Missa  aurea).—  Golden  Mass  was  one  that 
nsed  to  be  celebrated  formerly  on  the  Wednesdays  of  the 
quarter  tenses  of  Advent  in  honor  of  the  Mother  of  God. 
It  used  to  be  a  Solemn  High  Mass  of  the  most  gorgeous 
kind,  and  was  often  protracted  three  or  four  hours,  in  order 
to  give  full  sway  to  the  ceremonies  and  musical  pieces  em- 
ployed on  the  occasion.  The  bishop  and  all  his  canons 
assisted  at  it,  as  well  as  the  members  of  the  different  reli- 
gious communities  of  the  place  where  it  was  celebrated.  It 
was  customary,  too,  to  distribute  gifts,  and  those  very  often 
of  the  costliest  kind,  among  the  people  who  assisted  at  it ; 
and,  from  the  nature  and  excellence  of  the  mystery  in  honor 
of  which  it  was  offered,  it  used  to  be  written  in  letters  of  gold, 
hence  its  name  (Gavantus,  Thesaur.  Sacr.  Bit,  27  ;  Bouvry, 
ii.  105).  Traces  of  this  Mass  may  be  witnessed  yet  here  and 
there  through  Germany  ;  but  at  the  Church  of  St.  Gudule, 
in  Brussels,  the  regular  Mass  is  celebrated  every  year  on  the 
23d  of  December.     Thousands  assist  at  it  on  this  occasion. 

Private  Mass. — Whenever  the  expression  "Missa  pri- 
vata  "  is  used  by  the  rubrics,  Low  Mass,  in  contradistinc- 
tion to  High  Mass,  is  always,  or  nearly  always,  meant.  But 
by  Private  Mass  we  mean  something  entirely  different. 
Strictly  speaking,  a  Private  Mass  is  one  in  which  only  the 
priest  himself  communicates  (Gavantus,  p.  29).  It  receives 
its  name  of  private  from  the  fact  that  no  concourse  of  peo- 
ple assists  at  it,  and  that  it  is  celebrated  in  some  private  ora- 
tory or  chapel  to  which  all  have  not  access.  According  to 
the  mind  of  the  Council  of  Trent  (session  22,  chap.  6), 
no  Mass  is  private  in  the  Catholic  acceptation  of  the  word ; 
for  all,  whether  private  or  public,  are  offered  by  a  public 
minister  of  the  Church,  not  for  himself  alone,  but  for  the 
entire  household  of  faith  (ibidem). 

8  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc, 

And  that  Masses  of  this  kind  have  been  practised  from 
the  very  days  of  the  Apostles  themselves  the  most  indubi- 
table testimony  proves  ;  although  the  heretics  of  the  six- 
teenth century  would  fain  have  it  that  such  Masses  were  un- 
heard of,  nay,  even  forbidden,  by  the  early  Church.  But 
Cardinal  Bona  shows  to  a  demonstration  that  Private  Masses 
have  been  in  use  always,  and  mentions,  among  others,  the 
testimony  of  Tertullian,  who  lived  away  back  in  the  sec- 
ond century,  in  proof  of  his  assertion  (Bona,  Rer.  Liturg., 
p.  231). 

The  first  daring  attack  made  upon  Masses  of  this  kind  was 
by  the  arch-heretic  Luther  himself,  who  declared  that,  in  a 
conversation  which  he  had  had  with  the  devil,  it  was  re- 
vealed to  him  that  such  Masses  were  real  idolatry  (Bouvier, 
Theol  Moral,  iii.  224). 

To  put  an  end  to  all  cavil  on  this  subject,  the  Holy 
Council  of  Trent,  in  its  22d  session,  canon  8,  thus  de- 
creed :  "  Si  quis  dixerit  Missas  in  quibus  solus  sacerdos 
sacramentaliter  communicat  illicitas  esse  ideoque  abrogan- 
das,  anathema  sit."  That  is,  If  any  one  shall  say  that 
those  Masses  in  which  only  the  priest  communicates  sacra- 
ment ally  are  illicit,  and  that  hence  they  should  be  abolished, 
let  him  be  anathema. 

Solitary  Mass. — When  Mass  is  said  by  a  priest  alone, 
without  the  attendance  of  people,  or  even  of  a  server,  it  is 
called  h  Solitary  Mass.  Masses  of  this  kind  were  once  very 
common  in  monasteries  and  religious  communities  (Bona, 
p.  230),  and  they  are  still  practised  to  a  great  extent  in 
missionary  countries.  They  cannot,  however,  be  said  with- 
out grave  necessity  ;  for  it  is  considered  a  serious  offence  by 
theologians  to  celebrate  without  a  server,  and  this  server 
must  be  always  a  male,  never  a  female,  no  matter  how 
pressing  the  necessity  be. 

Strangely  enough,  Solitary  Masses  were  forbidden  in  daye 

Different  Kinds  of  Mass.  9 

gone  by  by  several  local  councils,  and  this  principally  for 
the  reason  that  it  seemed  ridiculous  to  say  "  Dominus  vo- 
biscum,"  the  Lord  be  with  you  j  "  Oremus,"  let  us  pray ; 
and  "  Orate  fratres,"  pray,  brethren,  when  there  were 
no  persons  present.  The  Council  of  Mayence,  held  in 
the  time  of  Pope  Leo  III.  (a.d.  815),  directly  forbade  a 
priest  to  sing  Mass  alone.  The  prohibition  not  merely  to 
sing  it,  but  to  celebrate  at  all  without  witnesses,  was  re- 
peated by  the  Council  of  Nantes,  and  for  the  reasons 
alleged.  Gratian  cites  a  canon  in  virtue  of  which  two  wit- 
nesses at  least  were  required  for  the  due  celebration  of  every 
Mass  ;  and  this  we  find  to  be  the  rule  among  the  early 

Cardinal  Bona  (Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  230),  from  whom  we  copy 
these  remarks,  seems  much  in  doubt  as  to  whether  Solitary 
Masses  were  wholly  abrogated  in  his  day.  He  instances, 
however,  a  well-known  exception  in  case  of  a  certain  mo- 
nastery which  enjoyed  the  privilege  from  the  Holy  See  of 
celebrating  without  having  any  person  to  respond. 

According  to  the  present  discipline  of  the  Church,  when- 
ever necessity  compels  a  priest  to  celebrate  alone  he  must 
recite  the  responses  himself,  and  otherwise  act  as  if  he  had 
a  full  congregation  listening  to  him.  He  must  not  omit, 
abridge,  add,  or  change  anything  to  suit  the  peculiar  cir- 
cumstances of  the  occasion,  but  must  do  everything  that 
the  rubrics  prescribe  for  ordinary  Mass,  and  this  under  pain 
of  sin. 

Votive  Mass. — As  every  day  in  the  year  has  a  Mass  more 
or  less  peculiar  to  itself,  whenever  this  order  is  broken  in 
upon  the  Mass  introduced  is  denominated  Votive.  Rubri- 
cists define  it  as  a  Mass  not  in  accordance  with  the  office  of 
the  day ;  and  it  receives  its  name  Votive  from  the  fact  that 
it  is  celebrated  to  satisfy  either  the  pious  wishes  of  the 
priest  himself  or  of  some  member  of  his  congregation. 

10  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc, 

Masses  of  this  kind  are  subject  to  various  restrictions. 
They  cannot  be  celebrated  unless  on  days  of  minor  rite,  nor 
without  a  reasonable  cause  ;  for  the  rubrics  of  the  Missal  are 
very  explicit  in  saying, that,  as  far  as  can  be  done,  the  Mass 
ought  to  agree  with  the  office  of  the  day.  St.  Liguori  says 
that  a  Votive  Mass  cannot  be  said  merely  on  the  plea  that  it 
is  shorter  than  the  Mass  of  the  day,  but  that  a  more  serious 
reason  is  required  (Book  vi.,  No.  419).  A  sufficient  reason, 
however,  would  be  if  either  the  person  asking  such  a  Mass, 
or  the  person  offering  it,  had  a  special  devotion  to  some 
particular  saint  or  mystery  (De  Herdt,  i.  27). 

Dry  Mass. — When  neither  the  consecration  nor  consump- 
tion of  either  element  takes  place  the  Mass  is  said  to  be  a 
Dry  Mass.  In  ancient  times  the  word  Nautical  was  applied 
to  it,  from  the  fact  of  its  being  confined  principally  to 
voyages  on  sea,  where  the  difficulty  of  celebrating  ordinary 
Mass  would  be  very  great  on  account  of  the  rolling  of  the 
vessel  and  other  causes.  In  celebrating  a  Mass  of  this  kind 
all  the  sacred  vestments  were  allowed  ;  but,  inasmuch  as  no 
consecration  took  place,  the  use  of  a  chalice  was  forbidden. 
All  those  prayers  which  did  not  bear  directly  on  the  Offer- 
tory or  Consecration  could  be  recited,  such  as  the  opening 
psalm,  the  "Introit,"  "Kyrie  eleison,"  "Gloria  in  excelsis," 
"Credo,"  Epistle  and  Gospel,  as  well  as  the  "Preface." 
It  was  also  allowed  to  impart  the  usual  blessing  at  the  end. 
It  was  customary,  too,  in  some  places  to  employ  the  services 
of  deacon  and  subdeacon,  in  order  to  give  it  as  solemn  an  air 
as  possible.  Genebrard,  a  Benedictine  monk,  who  died  to- 
wards the  end  of  the  sixteenth  century,  testifies  that  he  him- 
self was  present  at  a  Solemn  Dry  Mass  celebrated  at  Turin 
one  evening  for  the  repose  of  the  soul  of  a  certain  nobleman 
who  had  just  departed  life.  These  Masses  were  often  said 
for  the  special  gratification  of  the  sick  who  could  not  attend 
church  on  account  of  their  infirmities  ;  also  for  prisoners, 

Different  Kinds  oj  Mass,  11 

and,  as  has  already  been  said,  for  seafaring  people.  But 
such  Masses  have  long  passed  into  desuetude.  They  are 
practised  no  more,  and  deservedly,  for  many  well-meaning 
but  simple-minded  people  were  often  led  to  put  as  much 
faith  in  their  efficacy  as  in  a  real  Mass  (see  Durandus, 
Rationale  Divinorum,  §  par.  23  ;  Bona,  Ber.  Liturg.,  235,' 
236 ;  and  Gavantus,  Thesaur.  8.  Bit.,  33). 

Evening  Mass  (Missa  vesper tina). — In  the  time  of  St. 
Augustine  (fifth  century)  it  was  customary  throughout  Af- 
rica to  celebrate  Mass  on  Holy  Thursday  evening  in  mem- 
ory of  the  institution  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament  on  that 
day.  It  used  to  be  said  by  a  priest  who  had  already  broken 
his  fast  (Martene,  De  Antiquis  Eccl.  Bitibus ;  Bona,  Ber. 
Liturg.,  255).  Touching  this  Mass  the  fourth  Council  of 
Carthage  decreed  as  follows  :  "  The  Sacrament  of  the  Altar 
must  not  be  celebrated  unless  by  a  priest  who  is  fasting, 
except  on  the  anniversary  of  the  institution  of  the  Holy 
Eucharist. " 

Another  custom,  too,  that  prevailed  in  certain  places 
was  to  say  Mass  for  the  dead  at  any  time  of  the  day  that 
one  of  the  faithful  died,  and  this  whether  the  priest  had 
broken  his  fast  or  not  (see  article  on  the  Offertorium  of 
Masses  for  the  Dead).  But  this  practice  was  condemned 
almost  as  soon  as  its  introduction  by  several  councils,  and 
among  others  by  those  of  Carthage  in  Africa  and  Braga  in 
Spain  (Bona,  255). 

Evening  Mass  in  the  Eastern  Church. — As  the  majority 
of  the  Oriental  churches  do  not  reserve  the  Blessed  Eu- 
charist as  we  do,  and  this  principally  for  the  reason  that 
leavened  bread  will  soon  corrupt  in  such  climates  as  theirs, 
they  are  necessitated,  in  order  to  give  the  Holy  Viaticum 
to  the  dying,  to  celebrate  frequently  in  the  evening,  which, 
of  course,  they  will  do  after  having  broken  their  fast. 

The  Copts  never  reserve  the  Blessed  Sacrament  from  one 

12  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

Mass  to  another,  for  reasons  which  we  shall  give  when 
treating  of  Holy  Communion,  but  will  celebrate  any  hour 
of  the  day  or  night  that  they  are  called  on  to  communi- 
cate the  dying  (Denzinger,  Ritus  Orientalium,  p.  85). 

Midnight  Mass. — Midnight  Masses,  and  Nocturnal  Masses 
generally,  were  very  frequent  during  the  days  of  persecution, 
when  the  Christians  were  forbidden  to  assemble  anywhere 
in  daytime. 

There  were  certain  festivals,  also,  in  later  times  for  which 
Midnight  Mass  was  prescribed,  but  all  these  privileges  have 
long  since  been  taken  away,  the  only  one  remaining  being 
that  attached  to  Christmas,  upon  which  night  a  Nocturnal 
Mass,  as  of  old,  is  yet  celebrated  in  many  places. 

In  the  Eastern  Church  Midnight  Mass  has  never  been 
much  in  vogue.  One  of  the  most  gorgeous  displays, 
however,  of  ritual  ever  known  is  to  be  witnessed  in  Eus- 
sia  at  the  Midnight  Mass  of  Easter.  As  soon  as  twelve 
o'clock  is  announced  all  the  bells  of  the  Kremlin,  whose 
number  is  legion,  begin  to  toll,  and  they  are  immediately 
answered  by  all  the  other  bells  in  Moscow.  At  the  sound 
of  these  bells  every  inhabitant  rises  from  sleep  and  repairs 
to  church  to  hear  the  news  of  the  risen  Saviour.  The  whole 
city  is  in  a  blaze,  for  every  window  has  a  light,  and  a  torch 
burns  at  the  corner  of  every  street.  The  great  tower  of  the 
cathedral  is  illuminated  from  base  to  summit  with  myriads 
of  lights,  and  lights  burn  in  the  hands  of  every  man,  wo- 
man, and  child.  The  scene  inside  the  different  churches, 
but  especially  in  the  cathedral,  defies  description.  The 
most  costly  vestments  are  used  on  this  occasion,  and 
neither  labor  nor  expense  is  spared  to  make  it  worthy,  in 
some  way,  of  the  great  mystery  it  commemorates  (Bur- 
der,  Religious  Rites  and  Ceremonies,  p.  154). 

Mass  of  the  Presanctified. — This  Mass  receives  its  name, 
Presanctified,  from  the  fact  that  it  is  celebrated  with  a  Host 

Different  Kinds  of  Mass.  13 

consecrated  on  a  previous  occasion,  and  has  no  consecration 
of  either  element  itself.  In  the  Latin  Church  this  Mass  is 
celebrated  but  once  a  year— viz.,  on  Good  Friday— but  in 
the  Greek  Church  it  is  peculiar  to  every  day  in  Lent  ex- 
cept Saturdays,  Sundays,  and  the  Feast  of  the  Annuncia- 
tion, when  the  regular  Mass  is  offered  (Goar,  Euchologium 
Grcecorum,  p.  205).  This  custom  of  not  celebrating  daily 
in  the  East  during  Lent  is  as  old  at  least  as  the  Council 
of  Laodicea,  held  in  a.d.  314.  When  the  custom  began  in 
the  Latin  Church  it  is  not  easy  to  determine.  Another  dif- 
ference in  discipline  between  the  Latin  and  Greek  Church  in 
regard  to  this  Mass  is  this  :  that  in  the  former  no  Com- 
munion is  given  during  the  service,  but  in  the  latter  it  is 
customary  to  communicate  always  on  such  occasions.  The 
service  in  the  Russian  Church  is  thus  spoken  of  by 
Romanoff  : 

"  In  the  early  days  of  the  Christian  Church  the  Fathers 
did  not  consider  it  seemly  to  celebrate  the  comforting 
feast  on  days  of  humiliation  and  mourning  for  sin,  and 
permitted  Mass  to  be  sung  on  Saturdays  and  Sundays  only 
during  Lent,  and  on  the  Annunciation  and  Holy  Thursday.* 
But  as  many  pious  Christians,  accustomed  to  daily  Com- 
munion, could  not  bring  themselves  to  forego  the  strength- 
ening and  refreshing  of  their  souls  by  the  Body  and  Blood 
of  Christ,  the  holy  Church  granted  them  the  indulgence  of 
the  Liturgy  of  Preconsecrated  Elements,  when  the  bread 
and  wine  consecrated  on  the  Sunday  preceding  are  adminis 

T  Whether  there  is  a  regular  service  in  the  Greek  Church  on  Holy  Thursday,  as  on 
the  three  other  days  mentioned,  we  have  been  unable  to  find.  Goar  says  nothing  about 
It.  In  the  Primitive  Liturgies  (Introduction,  xxxvii.,  note),  by  Nealeand  Littledale,  a 
statement  is  made  to  the  effect  that  the  Liturgy  of  the  Presanctified  is  not  used  on 
Holy  Thursday  at  all,  but  only  that  of  St.  Basil,  which  is  the  one  used  also  on  Holy 
Saturday  (Neale's  Holy  Eastern  Church,  vol.  ii.  p.  713).  Whether  we  are  to  infer  from 
this  that  the  regular  Mass  is  celebrated  or  not  we  are  at  a  loss  to  determine  ;  but  we 
strongly  incline  in  favor  of  saying  that  it  is  not,  for  the  Eastern  canons  only  mention 
Saturdays,  Sundays,  and  the  Feast  of  the  Annunciation. 

14  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

tered  on  Wednesdays  and  Fridays  to  those  who  desire  them  " 
(Komanoff,  Rites  and  Customs  of  the  Greco-Russian 
Church,  p.   123). 

Mass  of  Requiem. — This  is  a  Mass  celebrated  in  behalf  of 
the  dead,  and  is  subject  almost  to  the  same  rules  as  a  regular 
Votive  Mass.  If  the  body  of  the  deceased  be  present  dur- 
ing its  celebration,  it  enjoys  privileges  that  it  otherwise 
would  not,  for  it  cannot  be  celebrated  unless  within  certain 
restrictions.  Masses  of  this  kind  are  accustomed  to  be  said 
in  memory  of  the  departed  faithful,  first,  when  the  person 
dies — or,  as  the  Latin  phrase  has  it,  "  dies  obitus  seu  depo- 
sitionis."  which  means  any  day  that  intervenes  from  the  day 
of  one's  demise  to  his  burial ;  secondly,  on  the  third  day 
after  death,  in  memory  of  our  Divine  Lord's  resurrection 
after  three  days'  interval ;  thirdly,  on  the  seventh  day,  in 
memory  of  the  mourning  of  the  Israelites  seven  days  for 
Joseph  ( Genesis  1.  10)  ;  fourthly,  on  the  thirtieth  day,  in 
memory  of  Moses  and  Aaron,  whom  the  Israelites  lamented 
this  length  of  time  (Nuynl.  xx.  ;  Deut.  xxxiv.)  ;  and,  finally, 
at  the  end  of  a  year,  or  on  the  anniversary  day  itself  (Ga- 
vant.,  Thesaur.  Rit.,  62).  This  custom  also  prevails  with 
the  Orientals. 

Mass  of  Judgment. — The  Book  of  Numbers,  in  its  fifth 
chapter,  has  special  directions  for  establishing  the  guilt  or 
innocence  of  the  wife  who,  whether  justly  or  unjustly,  had 
fallen  under  the  suspicion  of  her  husband.  She  was  first  to 
be  taken  before  the  priest  with  an  offering  of  barley.  The 
priest  "  took  her  before  the  Lord,"  as  the  expression  goes, 
and  put  into  her  hand  holy  water  mingled  with  some  of  the 
dust  of  the  floor  of  the  tabernacle.  In  this  solemn  condition 
the  nature  and  enormity  of  the  charges  preferred  were  clearly 
explained  to  her,  and  she  was  assured  that,  if  guilty  of  them, 
the  water  she  held  in  her  hand  would,  when  she  drank  it, 
cause  her  "belly  to  swell  and  her  thigh  to  rot,"  and  she 

Different  Kinds  of  Mass,  15 

would  be  as  a  curse  among  the  people  ;  but  if  she  were  in- 
nocent she  had  nothing  to  fear.  This  was  called  the  trial 
by  the  "waters  of  jealousy"  (see  Bannister's  Temples  of  the 
Hebrews,  p.  305),  from  which,  no  doubt,  we  are  to  trace  what 
we  are  now  going  to  treat  of — the  Mass  of  Judgment.  That 
Masses  of  this  kind  were  at  one  time  very  common  we  can- 
not deny,  but  we  can  deny,  and  that  most  emphatically,  that 
they  ever  had  the  free  sanction  of  the  Church.  They  were 
altogether  local  abuses,  and,  when  permitted  to  go  on,  it  was 
wholly  because,  under  the  pressing  circumstances  of  the 
times,  better  could  not  be  done.  Dr.  Lingard,  in  his  History 
of  the  Antiquities  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  Church,  ii.  130,  thus 
speaks  upon  this  subject :  "  Before  I  conclude  this  chapter 
I  must  notice  an  extraordinary  practice  which  united  the 
most  solemn  rites  of  religion  with  the  public  administration 
of  justice.  To  elicit,  in  judicial  proceedings,  a  truth  from  a 
mass  of  unsatisfactory  and  often  discordant  evidence  de- 
mands a  power  of  discrimination  and  accuracy  of  judgment 
which  it  were  vain  to  expect  from  the  magistrates  of  a 
nation  just  emerging  from  ignorance  and  barbarity.  The 
jurisprudence  of  an  illiterate  people  is  generally  satisfied 
with  a  shorter  and  more  simple  process.  While  the  Anglo- 
Saxons  adored  the  gods  of  their  fathers,  the  decision  of 
criminal  prosecution  was  frequently  entrusted  to  the  wisdom 
of  Woden.  When  they  became  Christians  they  confidently 
expected  from  the  true  Gk>d  that  miraculous  interposition 
which  they  had  before  sought  from  an  imaginary  deity." 
A  little  further  on  the  author  thus  describes  what  used  to 
take  place  on  such  occasions  :  ' '  Three  nights  before  the  day 
appointed  for  the  trial  the  accused  was  led  to  the  priest ; 
on  the  three  following  mornings  he  assisted  and  made  his 
offering  at  Mass  ;  and  during  the  three  days  he  fasted  on 
bread,  herbs,  salt,  and  water.  At  the  Mass  on  the  third 
day  the  priest  called  him  to  the  altar  before  the  Communion, 

16  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

and  adjured  him  by  the  God  whom  he  adored,  by  the  re- 
ligion which  he  professed,  by  the  baptism  with  which  he  had 
been  regenerated,  and  by  the  holy  relics  that  reposed  in  the 
church,  not  to  receive  the  Eucharist  or  go  to  the  ordeal  if 
his  conscience  reproached  him  with  the  crime  of  which  he 
had  been  accused."  The  priest  then  administered  Holy 
Communion  with  these  words  :  "  May  this  Body  and  Blood 
of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  prove  thee  innocent  or  guilty  this 
day."  When  Mass  was  finished  the  accused  was  again  ex- 
pected to  deny  the  charge  and  take  the  following  oath  :  "  In 
the  Lord  I  am  guiltless,  both  in  word  and  deed,  of  the  crime 
of  which  I  am  accused."  Dr.  Lingard  remarks  in  a  foot- 
note (p.  131)  that  the  practice  of  ordeal  prevailed  among  all 
the  northern  nations  that  embraced  Christianity  after  the 
fifth  century.  But  Masses  of  Judgment  were  by  no  means 
confined  to  the  illiterate  or  to  those  newly  emerging  from 
barbarism.  The  most  cultivated  and  civilized  had  recourse 
to  them,  and  they  were  in  vogue  among  some  of  the  most 
refined  nations  of  Europe.  St.  Cunegunda,  wife  of  King 
Henry  II.  of  Germany,  proved  herself  innocent  in  this  way 
of  a  charge  of  adultery.  She  went  through  the  ordeal  of 
walking  over  a  number  of  red-hot  ploughshares,  from  which 
she  escaped  unhurt  (Butler's  Lives  of  the  Saints  ;  Gavantus, 
Thesaur.  Sacr.  Rit.,  p.  38).  Queen  Emma,  mother  of  Ed- 
ward the  Confessor,  subjected  herself  to  a  similar  test,  in 
order  to  establish  her  innocence  of  a  foul  calumny  circulated 
of  her.  Lingard,  however,  seems  to  discredit  this  latter 
story ;  but  authorities  of  good  standing  make  mention  of  it 
(see  the  Month,  February,  1874,  p.  214,  for  full  particulars). 
We  have  said  that  this  practice  of  detecting  crime  by  hav- 
ing immediate  recourse  to  God  through  the  holy  sacrifice  of 
the  Mass  was  never  directly  sanctioned  by  the  supreme 
authority  of  the  Church,  but  only  permitted  because  of  the 
great  difficulty  and  danger  of  eradicating  it  all  at  once. 

Days  upon  which  Mass  is  not  Celebrated.  1? 

Our  proofs  of  this  are  the  following  :  Pope  Gregory  the 
Great  condemned  it  as  far  back  as  a.d.  592  ;  it  was  con- 
demned expressly  by  the  Council  of  Worms  in  829,  and 
Pope  Nicholas  I.  repeated  the  condemnation  upon  his  eleva- 
tion to  the  chair  of  St.  Peter  in  858  ;  Pope  St.  Stephen 
condemned  it,  too,  and  so  did  several  other  popes  and  coun- 
cils (see  Butler's  Lives  of  the  Saints  and  Alzog's  Universal 
Church  History,  vol.  ii.  p.  155,  by  Pabish  and  Byrne).  It 
is  hardly  necessary  to  add  that  Masses  of  this  kind  are  now 
unknown  in  the  Church. 


From  time  immemorial  it  has  been  customary  in  the  La- 
tin Church  to  abstain  from  celebrating  regular  Mass  on 
Good  Friday,  from  the  fact  that  it  is  the  great  mourning 
day  of  the  year,  and  in  a  regular  Mass  there  is  more  or  less 
rejoicing ;  and  also  because,  as  St.  Thomas  Aquinas  says 
(p.  3,  q.  83,  art.  2),  it  is  not  becoming  to  represent  the 
Passion  of  Christ  mystically  by  the  consecration  of  the 
Eucharist  whilst  the  Church  is  celebrating  it  as  if  really 

These  who  follow  the  Ambrosian  rite  (viz.,  the  priests 
of  Milan)  have  no  service  at  all  upon  any  Friday  of  Lent. 
This  dates  at  least  from  the  time  of  St.  Charles  Borromeo. 
They  will  not  even  on  these  days  say  Mass  for  the  dead  or 
to  satisfy  any  demand,  no  matter  how  urgent  it  be  (Bona, 
Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  219). 

Mass  is  also  forbidden,  unless  Solemn  High  Mass,  on 
Holy  Thursday,  but  an  exception  is  made  in  case  of  minor 
churches  where  a  sufficient  number  of  priests  cannot  be  had 
to  go  through  the  regular  ceremonies.  In  such  cases  a  Low 
Mass  is  permitted. 

Holy  Saturday  is  another  day  upon  which  Mass  is  not 
allowed — that  is,  Low  Mass — unless  in  particular  cases  ;  and 

18  The  Mass— Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

although  it  is  customary  to  celebrate  Solemn  High  Mass  on 
this  day,  yet,  strictly  speaking,  this  Mass  belongs  to  Holy 
Saturday  night  or  Easter  eve,  and  not  to  the  day  itself,  as 
may  be  clearly  seen  from  its  wording,  where  frequent  men- 
tion is  made  of  the  time  at  which  it  used  to  be  celebrated. 
Thus  the  first  Collect  reads  :  "  0  God  !  who  enlightenest  this 
most  sacred  night  by  the  glory  of  the  Resurrection  of  our 
Lord,  preserve  in  the  new  offspring  of  thy  family  th* 
spirit  of  adoption  thou  hast  given  them  ;  that,  being  re- 
newed in  body  and  soul,  they  may  serve  thee  with  purity  of 
heart."  Allusion  is  also  made  to  the  night  in  the  Preface, 
and  in  that  prayer  of  the  Canon  called  the  "  Communi- 


The  opinion  is  sustained  by  the  ablest  liturgical  writers 
that  it  was  St.  Peter,  the  Prince  of  the  Apostles  and  head  of 
Christ's  Church,  who  said  the  first  Mass,  and  this  after  the 
descent  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  in  the  very  same  Cenacle'  at 
Jerusalem  where  the  Blessed  Eucharist  was  instituted,  and 
where  our  Lord  uttered  the  words,  "Do  this  in  commemora- 
tion of  me." 

And  as  it  will  be  asked  why  Mass  was  not  celebrated 
before  Pentecost,  we  give  what  the  best  authorities  say  upon 

8  The  Cenacle,  which  stands  upon  Mt.  Sion,  is  to-day  one  of  the  greatest  objects  of 
veneration  in  the  Holy  Land.  It  is  remarkable  as  being  the  supposed  place  where  the  Last 
Supper  was  held  ;  where  our  Lord  appeared  to  his  disciples  after  his  glorious  resurrection 
on  Easter  morning  ;  where  the  Sacrament  of  Penance  was  first  instituted,  and  where  our 
Lord  was  seen  to  converse  for  the  last  time  with  his  chosen  band  before  he  ascended 
into  heaven.  It  was  in  this  blessed  spot  also  that  St.  James  the  Less,  styled  the  brother 
of  our  Lord,  was  consecrated  first  bishop  of  Jerusalem  ;  and  a  pious  tradition  has  it 
that  it  was  here  the  "  Beloved  Disciple"  said  Mass  in  presence  of  the  Blessed  Virgin, 
who,  it  is  said,  departed  this  life  there.  Father  Vetromile,  Travels  in  Europe  and  the 
Eoly  Land,  p.  200,  describes  the  Cenacle  as  a  large  room  divided  by  a  kind  of  alcove. 
*nd  says  that  a  plenary  indulgence  is  attached  to  a  visit  paid  it,  with,  of  course,  the 
usual  conditions. 

Language  in  which  the  First  Mass  was  Celebrated,      19 

the  matter — viz.,  that,  in  the  first  place  the  Apostles  would 
not  presume  to  perform  so  august  an  action  before  they  had 
received  the  plenitude  of  the  Holy  Ghost ;  and,  in  the  second 
place,  that  inasmuch  as  the  Ancient  Law  was  not  wholly 
abrogated  in  what  pertained  to  the  priesthood  until  after 
the  descent  on  Pentecost,  it  was  not  deemed  expedient  to 
begin  the  sacred  ministrations  of  the  New  Law  until  this 
abrogation  had  taken  effect.  The  Holy  Scriptures  seem  to 
corroborate  this  statement  also,  for  we  read  in  the  Acts  of 
the  Apostles  (i.  14)  that  before  the  descent  of  the  Holy 
Ghost  "  they  were  all  persevering  with  one  mind  in  prayer," 
but  after  the  descent  the  "breaking  of  bread" — i.e.,  the 
celebration  of  Holy  Communion — is  mentioned  {Acts  ii.  42 
and  46  ;  see  Gavantus  and  Merati,  Thesaur.  Sacr.  Bit.,  pp. 
7,  12,  14  ;  and  Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  book  i.  p.  206). 


In  the  time  of  our  Lord  three  particular  languages  were 
common  throughout  Judea.  They  were,  in  some  sense  of  the 
word,  the  languages  of  the  world  in  those  days — viz.,  the 
Hebrew,  Greek,  and  Latin.  The  first,  better  known  as  the 
Syro-Ohaldaic,  or  more  properly  the  Syriac,  was  the  lan- 
guage of  the  greater  part  of  Judea,  especially  of  Jerusalem 
itself  and  its  environs,  and,  without  a  doubt,  was  the  ver- 
nacular of  our  Divine  Lord  and  his  Blessed  Mother.  This 
can  be  proved  almost  to  a  demonstration,  both  from  the 
common  consent  of  critics  and  from  the  numerous  Syriac 
expressions  that  we  find  here  and  there  in  the  New  Testa- 
ment  yet  in  their  original  dress,  such  as  "  talitha  cumi," 
"eloi,  eloi,  lamma  sabacthani,"  and  "ephphetha,"  all  of 
which  are  Syriac,  with  a  few  euphonic  changes  made  to 
suit  Greek  ears. 

20  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

The  second,  or  the  Greek,  obtained  a  large  sway  in  Pales, 
tine  also,  as  St.  Jerome  testifies  (Proem,  1.  2,  Com.  Epist. 
ad  Gal.)  and  various  records  show.  "  And  this  glory,"  says 
Brerewood  in  his  Languages  and  Religions,  p.  9 — "this 
glory  the  Greek  tongue  held  in  the  Apostles'  time,  and  long 
after  in  the  Eastern  parts." 

The  third,  or  the  Latin,  had  obtained  a  far  wider  sway 
in  the  Holy  Land  in  the  time  of  our  Lord  and  his 
Apostles  than  either  of  the  other  two,  for  it  was  the  lan- 
guage of  imperial  Rome  ;  and  as  Judea  was  a  Roman  pro- 
vince at  that  time,  and  for  years  previous,  it  was  but  natural 
to  expect  that  the  language  of  Rome  would  be  forced  on  the 
conquered  people.  But  as  we  shall  have  occasion  to  treat 
of  these  languages  more  fully  a  little  further  on,  we  dismiss 
them  with  these  brief  remarks,  and  take  up  the  subject 
that  heads  our  article,  viz. :  In  what  language  was  the  first 
mass  offered  ? 

Eckius,  a  learned  German  divine  and  antiquarian  of  the 
sixteenth  century,  was  the  first  who  broached  the  opinion 
that  Mass  was  celebrated  everywhere,  in  the  beginning,  in 
Hebrew.  But  this  cannot  be  sustained,  for  the  ablest  litur- 
gical writers  and  linguists  hold  that  in  the  days  of  the  Apos- 
tles Mass  was  celebrated  in  the  language  that  prevailed  in 
those  places  whither  the  Apostles  went  to  spread  the  light 
of  the  Gospel  ;  hence,  that  at  Jerusalem  it  was  celebrated 
in  Syriac  ;  at  Antioch,  Alexandria,  and  other  Grecian  cities, 
in  Greek  ;  and  at  Rome,  and  throughout  the  entire  West,  in 
Latin.  As  the  first  Mass,  then,  was  celebrated  at  Jerusalem, 
it  is  an  opinion  which  it  would  be  rash  to  differ  from  that 
the  language  in  which  it  was  offered  was  the  Syriac  (Bona, 
Rer.  Liturg.,  207  ;  Gavantus,  Thesaur,  Sacr.  Rit.,  16,  17 ; 
Kozma,  Liturg.  Sacr.  Gathol.,  p.  111). 

Apparatus  used  at  the  First  Mass.  21 


Although  neither  Scripture  nor  history  says  anything  de- 
finite about  the  apparatus  or  ceremonies  employed  by  the 
Apostles  in  the  celebration  of  the  Holy  Eucharist,  still  it  is 
most  probable  that  such  an  august  sacrifice  was  not  offered 
without  what  was  suitable  and  becoming.  The  Apostles  knew 
too  well  with  what  a  gorgeous  display  of  ritual  the  sacrifices 
of  the  Mosaic  law  used  to  be  offered,  and  how  Almighty 
God  himself  expressly  regulated  the  kind  of  garments  the 
priests  should  use  and  the  special  ceremonies  that  were  to 
be  employed  on  every  occasion  ;  and  if  this  were  done  where 
the  sacrifice  consisted  of  nothing  but  bulls  and  goats, 
how  much  more  ought  to  be  expected  when  the  victim 
offered  was  none  else  than  the  Son  of  God  himself  ?  It  is 
very  likely,  then,  that  the  apparatus  used  in  the  first  Mass, 
and  the  ceremonies  observed  thereat,  were  communicated 
orally  to  the  Apostles  by  our  Lord  himself,  and  that  they 
did  exactly  as  he  prescribed. 

Cardinal  Bona,  in  treating  this  question,  says  that,  with- 
out a  doubt,  lights  were  used  after  the  manner  of  the 
ancient  Hebrews  ;  that  vestments  also  were  employed  dif- 
ferent from  those  of  every-day  life  ;  and  he  mentions  the 
fact  that  St.  Peter's  chasuble  was  conveyed  from  Antioch  to 
the  Church  of  St.  Genevieve  at  Paris,  and  there  carefully 
preserved  (Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  206). 


The  Catholic  Church  of  to-day  celebrates  the  holy  sacri- 
fice of  the  Mass  in  nine  different  languages — viz.,  in  Latin, 
Greek,  Syriac,  Chaldaic,  Sclavonic,  Wallachian,  Armenian, 
Coptic,  and  Ethiopic. 

Latin. — This  is  the  language  of  the  Mass  in  the  entir 

22  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

West  and  in  a  few  places  in  the  East,  and  has  been  so, 
without  change,  from  the  beginning  of  Christianity.  It 
may,  in  fact,  be  called  the  vernacular  language  of  the 
Western  Church. 

Greek. — At  the  present  day  Mass  is  said  in  Greek  by  the 
Uniat  or  Melchite9  Catholics  of  the  East.  They  are  to  be 
found  in  Syria,  Jerusalem,  Eussia,  in  the  kingdom  of  Greece, 
in  Italy,  and  in  several  places  of  Europe  ;  and  they  com- 
prise the  Mingrelians,  Georgians,  Bulgarians,  Muscovites, 
and  others.  These  Catholics  are  allowed  by  Eome  to  retain 
all  their  ancient  rites,  such  as  consecrating  the  Holy  Eucha- 
rist in  leavened  bread,  giving  Communion  in  both  kinds, 
saying  the  Creed  without  the  "  Filioque,"  and  putting  warm 
water  into  the  chalice  after  Consecration.  Nay,  more,  the 
Holy  See  even  allows  their  clergy  to  marry.10  They  have 
three  patriarchs,  residing  respectively  at  Antioch,  Alexan- 
dria, and  Jerusalem  ;  and  they  use  three  different  Liturgies 
for  the  celebration  of  the  Mass — viz.,  the  Liturgy  of  St. 
John  Chrysostom,  or  that  most  generally  used ;  the  Liturgy 
of  St.  Basil  the  Great,  used  on  all  Sundays  in  Lent  except 

•  The  term  Melchite,  from  the  Syriac  Malko,  a  king,  was  first  applied  at  the  Coun- 
cil of  Chalcedon  (451)  to  designate  the  orthodox  party,  at  whose  head  was  the  Emperor 
Marcian.  It  has  nearly  the  same  meaning  now  in  the  East  that  the  word  Papist  has 
through  the  West.  The  schismatics,  however,  often  apply  it  to  tneir  body  because  of 
its  expressing  orthodoxy,  for  they  rejoice  in  the  title  of  the  "  Holy  Orthodox  Church  of 
the  East." 

10  When  we  say  the  Holy  See  allows  the  Eastern  clergy  in  her  Communion  to  marry, 
we  must  not  be  understood  as  implying  that  she  allows  those  who  are  in  Sacred  Orders 
to  do  so.  This  would  not  be  true.  Her  discipline  in  this  matter  is  precisely  as  follows: 
Marriage  is  allowed  all  the  inferior  clergy  from  the  subdeacon,  exclusive,  down.  Should 
any  member,  then,  of  this  inferior  body  be  promoted  to  Sacred  Orders,  whether  to  the 
Bubdiaconate,  diaconate,  or  priesthood,  he  is  allowed  to  retain  his  wife  and  do  for  her 
as  best  he  can  from  his  living,  but  he  can  never  marry  again.  Should  he  do  so  he  would 
be  degraded  and  forbidden  ever  to  officiate.  There  is  no  such  thing  allowed  or  heard  of 
as  a  clergyman  getting  married  in  Sacred  Orders.  If  he  is  not  married  when  a  sub- 
deacon  he  never  can  be  afterwards.  And  as  for  bishops,  patriarchs,  metropolitans,  and 
the  other  great  dignitaries  of  the  Oriental  hierarchy,  the  rule  is  that  they  must  all  be 
single  men.  Hence  it  is  that  all,  or  nearly  all,  the  Oriental  bishops  are  taken  from  tht 
monasteries  ;  and  this  is  the  rule  with  the  schismatics  also. 

Languages  in  which  Mass  is  Celebrated  To-day.        23 

Palm  Sunday,  on  Holy  Thursday,  Holy  Saturday,  the  Vigils 
of  Christmas  day  and  of  the  Epiphany,  and,  finally,  on  the 
Feast  of  St.  Basil,  January  1.  The  third  Liturgy  is  deno- 
minated the  Presanctified.  It  is  only  used  during  those 
days  of  Lent  upon  which  there  is  no  Consecration,  but 
only  a  Mass  similar  to  that  which  we  have  on  Good  Friday. 

Syriac. — Mass  is  said  in  Syriac  by  the  Maronites11  of 
Mount  Lebanon  and  the  Syrian  Melchites  of  the  East.  It 
is,  in  fact,  the  liturgical  language  of  all  those  places  where 
the  Liturgy  of  St.  James  is  used  as  the  norma.  It  is  the 
proud  boast  (and  truly  it  is  something  to  be  proud  of)  of 
the  people  who  say  Mass  in  this  language  that  they  are 
using  the  very  same  language  that  was  spoken  by  our 
Divine  Lord  himself  and  his  Blessed  Mother,  as  well  as  by 
the  majority  of  the  Apostles.  The  Maronites  are  allowed 
by  the  Holy  See  to  retain  all  their  ancient  ecclesiastical 
rites  and  customs.  They  are  governed  by  a  patriarch, 
whose  style  is  "Patriarch  of  Antioch  of  the  Maronites." 
This  dignitary  is  elected  by  the  people  themselves  ;  but 
before  he  is  installed  in  office  his  election  has  to  await  the 
confirmation  of  Rome.  They  use  unleavened  bread,  as  we 
do,  in  confecting  the  Holy  Eucharist,  and,  like  the  rest  of 
the  Orientals,  they  communicate  the  people  under  both 
kinds  ;  but  when  communicating  the  sick  only  the  species 
of  bread  is  used. 

They  use  incense  at  Low  Mass  as  well  as  at  High  Mass, 
and  read  the  Gospel  in  Arabic  after  it  has  first  been  read 
in  the  Syriac,  for  Arabic  is  the  language  of  the  day  in 
those  parts. 

11  This  people  received  the  name  of  Maronite  from  a  holy  monk,  St.  Maro,  who  in- 
habited the  Lebanon  in  the  fifth  century,  and  became  celebrated  all  over  the  East  for 
his  eminent  sanctity.  Some  say  that  they  fell  at  one  time  into  the  Monothelite  heresy, 
but  they  themselves  deny  the  charge,  maintaining  that  their  faith  has  always  been  or- 
thodox. By  way  of  derision  they  are  called  the  "Eastern  Papists,"  so  great  is  their 
loyalty  to  the  Holy  See. 

24  The  Mass — Origin  of  t/ie  Word,  Etc* 

Their  secular  clergy  number  about  twelve  thousand,  and 
their  regular  about  fourteen  thousand.  All  the  latter 
live  in  monasteries ;  and  as  they  must  be  unmarried  (for 
it  is  only  the  seculars  who  are  allowed  to  have  wives), 
it  is  from  their  body  that  the  patriarchs  and  bishops  are 
taken  (Vetromile,  Travels  in  Europe  and  the  Holy  Land, 

Chaldaic. — This  language  is  peculiar  to  the  Babylonian 
Catholics,  who  are  chiefly  converts  from  Nestorianism,12  and 
who  inhabit  principally  Mesopotamia,  Armenia,  and  Kur- 
distan. They  have  a  patriarch,  who  is  titled  "Patriarch 
of  Babylonia."  His  residence  is  at  Bagdad.  All  the  lit- 
urgical books  of  this  people  are  written  in  the  Chaldaic, 
in  that  peculiar  character  known  as  the  Estrangolo  13 — for 
the  Chaldaic  itself  has  as  many  different  alphabets  as  eigh- 
teen (Antrim's  Science  of  Letters,  p.  88). 

Sclavonic. — Mass  is  said  in  this  language  by  the  Catholics 
of  Istria,  Liburnia,  and  the  maritime  parts  of  ancient  Dal- 
matia.  It  is,  in  fact,  the  liturgical  language  of  all  in  union 
with  Kome  who  belong  to  the  Sclavonic  nation.  This 
privilege  the  Sclavonians  first  received  from  Pope  Adrian 

12  The  Nestorians,  so  called  from  Nestorius,  a  native  of  Germanicia,  in  Syria,  and 
Patriarch  of  Constantinople  in  the  fifth  century,  are  found  in  great  numbers  to-day 
throughout  the  entire  East.  They  have  twenty -five  metropolitans,  and  a  patriarch  who 
resides  at  Mosul,  the  ancient  Nineveh.  Strangely  enough,  they  consider  it  an  insult 
'to  he  sty  led  Nestorians,  their  proper  name  being,  as  they  strenuously  maintain  them- 
selves, Soordye—i.e.,  Syrians.  According  to  some  they  sometimes  style  themselves 
Nusrani— that  is,  "  of  Nazareth"— but  this,  if  anything,  must  be  a  subterfuge  to  escape 
the  name  of  the  heretic  Nestorius,  which  they  disdain  being  called  by  (see  Nestorians 
mnd  their  Ritvals,  vol.  i.  p.  178,  by  Rev.  Geo.  Percy  Badger  ;  and  Vetromile,  Travels 
in  Europe  and  the  Holy  Land,  p.  90).  The  reader  need  hardly  be  told  that  the  heresy 
for  which  Nestorius  was  condemned  at  the  General  Council  of  Ephesus  in  431  was  the 
ascribing  of  two  distinct  persons  to  our  Lord  instead  of  one,  and  refusing  the  title  of 
"  Mother  of  God  "  to  the  Blessed  Virgin. 

18  According  to  Assemani  (Bibl.  Orient.,  torn.  iv.  p.  378),  this  word  comes  from  the 
Greek  o-rpoyyvkos,  round  f  but,  as  it  is  hard  to  see  where  the  roundness  comes  into 
these  characters,  others  derive  the  word  from  an  Arabic  compound  meaning  "gospel- 
writing"  (see  Phillips'  Syriac  Oram.,  Introduction,  p.  6). 

Languages  in  which  Mass  is  Celebrated  To-day.        25 

II.  in  the  ninth  century,  and  it  was  confirmed  by  Pope 
John  VIII. ,  Adrian's  immediate  successor.  This  latter 
Pontiff,  in  renewing  the  grant,  made  it  a  condition  that 
the  holy  Gospel,  on  account  of  its  superiority  over  the 
other  parts  of  the  Mass,  should  be  first  read  in  Latin, 
and  after  that  in  Sclavonic.  In  a.d.  1248  Pope  Innocent 
IV.  acquiesced  in  all  these  concessions  of  his  predecessors, 
as  also  did  Pope  Benedict  XIV.  in  a.d.  1740;  so  that  at 
the  present  day  Mass  is  said  in  Sclavonic  by  quite  a  large 
body  of  Catholics.  It  is  also  the  liturgical  language  of 
schismatical  Russia  and  of  thousands  of  Christians  within 
the  Turkish  dominions  (Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  216  ;  Kozma, 
Liturg.  Sacr.  Cathol,  112,  note ;  Wouters,  Historia  Eccle- 
siast.,  258;  Brerewood,  Languages  and  Religions,  p.  235; 
and  Gavantus,    Thes.   Rit.,  p.   25,  xix.) 

Wallachian. — Since  the  seventeenth  century,  when  a  great 
number  of  them  came  into  the  Church,  the  Wallachians, 
with  the  tacit  consent  of  the  Holy  See,  have  been  saying 
Mass  in  their  own  native  language,  which,  however,  is  no 
longer  that  in  daily  use,  but  the  old  classic  tongue.  Con- 
cessions (if  wa  may  call  that  a  concession  which  is  allowed 
by  tacit  consent)  of  this  kind  are  very  rarely  granted  ;  and 
when  granted  at  all,  it  is  always  in  favor  of  some  newly- 
converted  people  who  cling  with  great  tenacity  to  their 
national  language  and  customs  (Kozma,  Liturg.  Sacr. 
Cathol.,  p.  112,  note  9). 

Armenian. — This  is  the  liturgical  language  of  all  who  are 
called  by  that  name  in  the  East  to-day.  They  inhabit 
Armenia  proper,  or  the  modern  Turkomania,  and  are  found 
also  throughout  Asia  Minor,  Syria,  Palestine,  Turkey, 
Georgia,  Greece,  Africa,  Italy,  and  Russia.  In  the  last- 
named  empire  their  sees  were  arranged  by  a  ukase,  March 
11,  1836.  They  are  at  present  governed  by  a  patriarch, 
who  is  styled  "  Patriarch  of  Cilicia  of  the  Armenians,"  and 

26  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

who  resides  at  Bezourmar.  In  the  island  of  San  Lazaro, 
at  Venice,  they  have  a  monastery  which  is  famous  all  over 
the  world  for  its  printing-presses.  Here  most  of  the  Ar- 
menian ecclesiastical  books  are  turned  out. 

The  Armenians,  unlike  all  the  other  Christians  of  the 
East,  save  the  Maronites,  use  unleavened  bread  in  the  Holy 
Eucharist  as  we  do.  The  heretical  Armenians,  all  of  whom 
are  Monophy sites1*  (that  is,  believers  in  but  one  nature — viz., 
the  divine — in  our  Lord,  after  the  teaching  of  Eutyches),  ab- 
stain from  mingling  water  with  the  wine  in  the  Mass,  in  order 
to  give  as  great  a  prominence  to  their  belief  as  possible ;  for 
water  is  symbolical  of  the  human  nature  of  our  Saviour, 
which  these  people  maintain  was  wholly  absorbed  by  the 
divine,  so  that  a  vestige  of  it  did  not  remain  (Burder's 
Religious  Ceremonies,  p.  180 ;  Smith  and  Dwight's  Travels 
in  Armenia,  passim  ;  Vetromile,  Travels  in  Europe  and 
the  Holy  Land,  art.  "Eastern  Rites"). 

Coptic. — This  language,  which  the  natives  maintain  to  be 
the  same  as  the  ancient  language  of  the  Pharaohs — that 
is,  the  Egyptian — is  used  by  the  Christians  along  the  Nile 
in  the  celebration  of  their  sacred  rites.  This  people  are 
called  Copts  from  a  paring  down  of  the  name  they  were 
given  by  the  Greeks,  viz.,  Aiyvnrioi — i.e.,  Egyptians — 
which  in  many  ancient  manuscripts  is  written  ^Egophthi, 
Copthi,  and  Chibthi.  This,  at  least,  is  the  origin  assigned 
by  some  of  the  ablest  Oriental  scholars,  and  Renaudot 
among  others  (see  Liturg.    Orient.    Col.,  dissert,  de  Ling. 

14  The  term  Monophysite,  from  the  Greek  ftdvos,  one,  and  <t>v<ns,  nature,  first 
came  in  use  afWr  the  General  Council  of  Chalcedon  in  451,  at  which  the  heretic  Eu- 
tyches was  condemned  for  asserting  that  there  was  but  one  nature  in  our  Lord.  Id 
Syria  and  other  parts  of  the  East  the  followers  of  Eutyches  are  called  Jacobites,  from 
James  Baradai,  one  of  their  chief  reformers  :  but  throughout  Africa  they  are  univer- 
sally known  by  their  more  comprehensive  name  of  Monophysites.  As  a  peculiarity  of 
their  heretical  tenets,  they  use  only  one  finger  in  making  the  sign  of  the  eroee  (Brer«- 
wood,  Languages  and  Heligions,  p.  186). 

Languages  in  which  Mass  is  Celebrated  To-day.        27 

Coptica,  torn.  i.  p.  ex.)  But,  according  to  Scaliger,  Simon, 
and  Kircher,  the  Copts  are  so  called  from  an  ancient  city 
of  Egypt  known  as  Coptos,  once  the  metropolis  of  the 
Thebaid.  Eenaudot,  however,  has  clearly  proved  that  this 
is  at  best  nothing  more  than  a  guess ;  and  the  vast  major- 
ity of  modern  linguists  adhere  to  his  opinion.16 

The  Copts  use  three  different  Liturgies  in  the  celebration 
of  Mass — viz.,  those  of  St.  Basil,  St.  Cyril,  and  St.  Gregory, 
The  first,  which  is  considered  the  most  elegant  and  ela 
borate,  and  the  one  best  suited  to  grand  occasions,  is  dedi 
cated  specially  to  the  Person  of  the  Omnipotent  Father 
The  second  is  dedicated  to  the  Person  of  the  Father  also 
but  not  in  so  special  a  manner.     The  third,  or  that  of  St 
Gregory,  is  dedicated  to  the  Person  of  our  Divine  Redeemer 
for  it  dwells  particularly  on  his  Incarnation,  Passion,  Death 
Resurrection,  and  Ascension.     These  are  the  three  principal 
Liturgies ;  in  fact,  they  may  be  said  to  be  the  only  ones 
used    by  the  Copts,  for,  although  they  have  as  many  as 
twelve  altogether,   yet  they  never  bring  any  others  into 
requisition  but    the  three    specified   (Renaudot,   Comment, 
ad  Liturg.  Copt.  8.  Basilil,  vol.  i.  p.  154). 

The  Copts  at  the  present  day — that  is,  the  Catholic  Copts 
— are  governed  by  a  vicar-apostolic  residing  at  Cairo,  but 
there  is  a  movement  on  foot  to  give  them  a  regular  hier- 
archy of  their  own,   with  a  patriarch  at  its  head. 

The  schismatic  Copts,  all  of  whom  are  Monophysites, 
number  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand — that  is, 
about  eighty  thousand  more  than  those  in  communion  with 
the  Holy  See.  They  are  governed  by  a  patriarch,  who  is 
styled  "  Patriarch  of  Alexandria  of  the  Copts"  ;  but  besides 

16  "  Le  terme  Arabe,  un  Cophte,  me  semble  une  alteration  evidente  du  Grec  Alyvnrot, 
un  Egyptien,  car  on  doit  remarquer  que  y  etait  prononce  ou  chez  les  anciens  Grecs  ,  et 
que  les  Arabes,  n'ayant  ni  g  devant  a,  o,  u,  ni  la  lettre  p,  remplacent  toujours  ces  lettres 
par  g  et  b  •  les  Copbtes  sont  done  proprement  les  representing  Egyptiens  "  (Volney, 
from  the  Crescent  and  the  Cross,  p.  93,  by  Warburton). 

28  The  Mass— Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

him  they  have  another  who  resides  at  Cairo  and  takes 
his  title  from  Jerusalem.  He  is,  of  course,  subordinate 
to  the  Patriarch  of  Alexandria  (see  Vetromile,  Eastern 
Rites,  87 ;  Renaudot,  De  Patriarcha  Alexandrino,  passim, 
torn,  i.)  We  shall  have  frequent  occasion  to  refer  to  the 
Copts  throughout  our  work. 

Ethiopia — This  is  the  liturgical  language  of  the  modern 
Abyssinians,  who  differ  but  very  little  from  the  Copts  either 
in  discipline  or  ecclesiastical  customs.  Of  the  language 
there  are  two  dialects — viz.,  the  Amharic  and  the  Gheez. 
The  former,  or  court  language,  is  considered  much  easier 
than  the  latter,  in  which  nearly  all  the  Abyssinian  books 
are  written.  The  Gheez  is  principally  spoken  in  the  king- 
dom of  Tigre. 

By  some  authors  the  Ethiopic  is  called  the  Chaldaic,  from 
an  opinion  current  among  the  natives  that  it  originally 
came  from  ancient  Chaldea  ;  and  it  is  generally  said  that  a 
fair  knowledge  of  it  is  easily  acquired  by  one  skilled  in 
Hebrew,  for  the  principal  difference,  they  say,  that  exists 
between  both  consists  in  the  formation  of  the  letters  of  the 
alphabet  (Burder,  Rel.  Rites  and  Customs,  p.  175  ;  Brere- 
wood,  Languages  and  Religions,  300). 

The  Catholic  Abyssinians  now  number  about  two  millions. 
They  are  under  a  vicar-apostolic.  The  schismatics,  who 
»re  Monophysites  like  the  Copts,  number  about  five  times 
as  many  as  the  orthodox.  They  are  governed  by  an  official 
called  the  Abouna  (from  a  Syriac  word  meaning  "our  Fa- 
ther), who  ranks  as  a  bishop  and  is  sent  them  by  the  Pa- 
triarch of  Alexandria.  The  great  redeeming  feature  of  this 
people  is  their  extraordinary  devotion  to  the  Mother  of  God. 
So  great  is  their  reverence  for  her  that  when  the  common 
street-beggars  fail  to  exact  an  aims  for  the  love  of  God  or 
for  any  of  the  saints,  an  appeal  is  at  once  made  in  honor 
of  "  Lady  Mary,"  which  ip  always  sure  to  receive  a  favor- 

Languages  in  which  Ma*s  is  Celebrated  To-day,        29 

able  hearing  (Dublin  Review,  July,  1863,  p.  50).  Further- 
more, an  oath  taken  in  her  name  is  considered  the  most 
solemn  that  can  be  administered,  and,  if  taken  rashly,  is 
subject  to  the  highest  penalty  the  law  can  inflict  (see 
Lobo's  Voyage  to  Abyssinia,  p.  26).  Their  Liturgy  is 
called  the  "  Liturgy  of  All  the  Apostles,"  but  its  official 
title  is  the  "Ethiopic  Canon."  It  is  considered  to  be  an 
amplification  of  that  of  St.  Cyril. 

It  may  be  well  to  say  that  the  Abyssinian  ordinations  are 
the  only  ones  in  the  East  which  are  held  doubtful  by  the 
Holy  See.  For  this  reason  priests  coming  into  our  Church 
from  theirs  are,  in  nearly  every  case,  ordained  under  condi- 
tion. I  say  in  nearly  every  case,  but  not  always  ;  for  where 
it  is  found  that  the  Abyssinian  ritual  has  been  followed  to 
the  letter,  no  conditional  ordination  is  needed.  Their 
rituals  have  the  valid  form,  but  carelessness  on  the  part 
of  their  bishops  often  causes  it  to  be  either  badly  vitiated 
or  wholly  disregarded  (see  Denzinger,  Ritus  Oriental.,  p. 

Before  we  dismiss  this  subject  we  have  some  remarks  to 
make  that  cannot  but  be  of  interest  to  the  reader.  We  have 
said  that  the  Catholic  Church  of  to-day  celebrates  the  holy 
sacrifice  of  the  Mass  in  nine  different  languages,  all  of  which 
we  have  given.  We  have  said  that  the  Greeks  celebrate  in 
Greek,  the  Armenians  in  Armenian,  the  Ethiopians  in  Efht* 
opic,  etc.  The  reader  must  not  understand  by  this,  as  some, 
such  as  Usher,16  would  fain  do,  that  the  language  in  anyone 
case  is  the  vernacular. 

The  Greeks,  who  celebrate  in  Greek,  speak  Greek,  it  is 
true,  but  so  different  is  it  from  their  liturgical  language  (for 

>•  Usher  was  an  Anglican  bishop  of  the  seventeenth  century.  He  was  a  man  of 
great  erudition,  and  many  works  of  merit,  notwithstanding  his  own  bigotry,  issued 
from  his  pen.  He  published  what  he  termed  a  Catalogue  of  Irish  Saints,  arrange  i  in 
three  divisions  according  to  t*»e  age  they  lived  in. 

30  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

the  latter  is  the  ancient  classic  Greek)  that  hardly  a  man 
can  be  found  who  understands  one  word  of  it.  The  same 
may  be  said  of  the  Armenian,  the  same  of  the  Ethiopic,  the 
same  of  any  one  of  the  nine  specified.  The  Copts,  for  in- 
stance, are  so  little  skilled  in  the  Coptic  used  in  the  Mass 
that  it  has  been  found  necessary  to  print  the  rubrics  of  theii 
Missals  in  Arabic  (the  language  of  those  regions)  for  the 
benefit  of  the  clergy  ;  for  neither  the  clergy  nor  the  people 
are  much  versed  in  the  language  used  in  the  sacred  offices. 
(The  reader  who  wishes  to  see  this  subject  fully  discussed 
would  do  well  to  consult  Kenaudot,  Liturg.  Oriental. 
Collectio,  torn,  i.,  dissert,  de  Liturg.  Orient.  Origine, 
xxxviii. ) 

We  do  not  consider  it  necessary  to  quote  authorities  for 
our  assertion,  for  we  challenge  anybody  to  gainsay  it.  Pro- 
testants— we  mean  those  who  are  not  biassed  and  blinded  by 
prejudice — and  Catholics  bear  testimony  to  it.  And  since 
it  is  an  indisputable  fact  that  there  is  not  to  be  found 
in  Christendom  a  single  instance  of  a  people  celebrating 
the  Holy  Mass  in  the  language  of  the  day,  how  is  it  that 
we  of  the  Latin  Church  are  called  to  task  so  often  for  "  cele- 
brating in  an  unknown  tongue  "?  Why  not  call  the  Greek 
Church  to  task  ?  Why  not  call  the  Armenian  Church  to 
task  ?  Why  not  call  the  Eussian  to  task  ?  And  yet,  ii 
there  is  reprehension  deserved  anywhere,  these  people  de- 
serve more  than  we,  for  the  most  illiterate  of  our  congrega- 
tions know  far  more  about  our  liturgical  language — there 
are  translations  of  it  in  every  prayer-book — than  the  most 
educated  of  the  nations  we  have  mentioned  know  about 
theirs.  Ask  a  Nestorian  or  a  Copt  to  roll  you  off  only  a 
few  short  sentences  of  the  liturgical  Syriac  or  Coptic  ;  he 
could  as  easily  tell  you  his  thoughts  in  the  language  of  the 
"  Celestial  Empire." 

Precedents  for  using  an  unknown  Tongue.  31 


Nor  is  the  practice  of  celebrating  divine  service  in  a 
tongue  unknown  to  the  people  without  precedents  in  an- 
cient and  modern  times.  The  Jews  always  celebrated  the 
praises  of  Jehovah  in  "the  language  that  the  prophets 
spake"— i.e.,  the  ancient  Hebrew.  This  was  so  far  above 
the  reach  of  the  people  that  it  was  found  necessary  to  sup- 
ply them  with  translations  in  the  shape  of  the  so-called 
Targums"  in  order  that  they  might  know  something  of 
what  was  done  (see  Renaudot  in  loc.  cit. )  ;  and  that  this 
custom  is  yet  kept  up  by  the  modern  Jews  in  their  syna- 
gogues innumerable  witnesses  prove  (see  Bannister's  Temples 
of  the  Hebrews;  Jahn's  Arclmology ;  Dr.  Rock,  Hierurgia, 
p.  216).  We  may  be  pardoned  for  taking  another  instance 
of  praying  in  <in  unknown  tongue  from  the  Mahometans. 
It  is  well  known  in  what  deep  veneration  these  people  hold 
the  Koran,18  which  is  to  them  what  the  Bible  is  to  Chris- 

17  Targum,  from  the  Chaldaic  turgmo,  "interpretation,"  was  originally  a  rendition 
of  the  Scriptures  into  the  East-Aramaean  dialect  for  the  benefit  of  those  Jews  who,  on 
account  of  their  seventy  years'  absence  in  Babylon,  could  no  more  understand  the  pure 
Hebrew  of  the  Bible.  There  are  in  existence  yet  ten  of  such  Targums,  the  most  an- 
cient and  valuable  of  which  is  the  one  ascribed  to  Onkelos,  which  is  a  very  literal  ver- 
sion  of  the  original  Hebrew  Pentateuch.  The  Babylonian  Talmud  makes  Onkelos  a 
contemporary  of  Gamaliel,  who  flourished  in  the  beginning  of  the  Christian  era. 

18  The  Koran,  from  the  Arabic  qur&n,  "  the  reading,"  is  looked  upon  with  so  much 
sacredness  by  the  Mahometans  that  they  deem  no  one  worthy  to  behold  it  who  is  not 
a  Moslem  of  the  most  orthodox  kind.  The  book  is  held  to  bo  altogether  a  miraculous 
work  ;  and  so  inimitable  is  its  style  that,  according  to  the  Mahometans,  no  one  less 
than  an  angel  from  heaven  could  produce  anything  like  it.  Its  miraculous  nature  i* 
supposed  to  be  proved  from  the  following  facts  : 

1st.  Its  elegance,  diction,  and  melody  are  unsurpassed.  2d.  Its  structure  cannot  b« 
equalled.  3d.  Its  consistency  is  marvellous,  admitting  of  no  contradiction.  4th.  Ita 
knowledge  of  divine  things  is  admirable.  5th.  Its  knowledge  of  human  and  divine 
law.  6th.  Its  sayings  have  never  been  falsified.  7th.  It  removes  all  diseases  of  mind 
and  body.    8th.  It  reveals  mysteries  known  only  to  God. 

It  consists  of  one  hundred  and  fourteen  Surds,  or  chapters,  each  bearing  a  title  which 
serves  as  a  sort  of  key  or  clue  to  what  is  to  follow,  as  an  antiphon  does  to  its  psalm. 
The  first  Sura  is  headed  the  "  Cow,"  for  in  the  body  of  the  chapter  the  sacrifice  of  a 

32  The  Mass— Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

iians.  It  is  written  in  the  purest  Arabic,  and  so  much 
afraid  are  they  of  it  becoming  common  that  no  one  is 
allowed  to  attempt  a  translation  of  it  in  the  Arabic  spoken 
by  the  people.  This  pure  Arabic  is  a  dead  language  to 
the  masses  (see  Guthrie's  Grammar  of  History,  p.  719). 
"  Though  it  has  long  ceased  to  be  spoken,"  says  Murray 
(in  his  Encyclopaedia  of  Geog.,  vol.  ii.  229),  "  it  has  con- 
tinued to  be  the  liturgic  and  learned  language  of  all  the 
numerous  nations  professing  Islam,19  from  the  shores  of  the 
Indian  Ocean  to  the  westernmost  corner  of  Morocco,  and 
from  the  Wolga  to  Cape  Delgado,  in  Africa." 

Another  example  in  point  may  be  cited  from  the  Hin- 
doos, who  allow  none  but  the  Brahmins  to  read  the  Veda 
on  account  of  the  great  respect  they  have  for  the  language  in 
which  it  is  written.  The  Hindoos  carry  this  thing  so  far 
that  they  will  not  allow  some  of  their  minor  ministers  so 
much  as  even  to  listen  to  the  reading  of  this  book  or  to 
speak  of  it  (Burder,  Religious  Ceremonies  and  Customs,  pp. 
528,  529)  ;  so  also  with  the  language  known  as  the  Bali,  a 
half-sister  of  the  Sanscrit,  which  has  long  since  ceased  to  be 
spoken,  yet  it  is  the  liturgical  language  of  Ceylon,  Bali,  and 
Madura,  of  a  great  part  of  Java  and  Indo-China.  It  is  also 
the  religious  language  of  all  the  Japanese  who  profess  Lama- 
ism  (Murray,  Cyclop,  of  Geography,  vol.  ii.  p.  231).  We 
have,  therefore,  clearly  shown  that  if  precedent  be  wanted 
for  what  is  styled  "  a  strange,  unmeaning  discipline,"  the 

cow  is  spoken  of.  With  but  one  exception  every  Sura  begins  thus  ■  "  Bismillah,  ur 
rahman-ur-raheem  "—In  the  name  of  God,  the  compassionate,  the  merciful. 

Mahomet  was  aided  in  composing  the  Koran  by  a  Jew  named  Abdia  Ben  Salon,  and 
by  a  monk  who  had  apostatized,  named  Sergius,  or  Bahira.  as  the  Orientals  called  him 
(see  the  Koran,  translated  by  Sale,  and  the  Life  and  Religion  of  Mahomet,  translated 
from  the  Persian  by  Rev.  James  Merrick). 

19  Islam,  Moslem,  and  Mussulman  are  all  from  the  same  root,  Aslam,  meaning  to 
yield  up,  to  dedicate,  to  devote  to  the  service  of  religion  ;  something  like  our  word 
cleric,  which  comes  from  the  Greek  *Aijpow,  I  separate  or  choose  for  a  religious 

Why  the  Church  retains  the  use  of  the  Latin.        33 

most  critical  mind  can  be  satisfied  by  looking  into  the  pages 
of  antiquity  and  examining  the  religious  customs  of  any 
ancient  people.  In  nearly  every  case  the  liturgical  language 
will  be  found  different  from  that  in  use  among  the  common 

The  principal  reason  why  Protestants  reprobate  our  use 
of  a  language  not  understood  by  the  people  is,  as  far  as 
they  themselves  are  concerned,  very  rational,  but,  as  far  as 
Catholics  are  concerned,  highly  absurd.  A  Protestant  goes 
to  church  to  utter  a  few  prayers,  or  at  least  to  hear  the 
minister  utter  them,  and  nothing  more.  His  service  is 
essentially  prayer,  and  nothing  but  prayer.  Not  so  with  the 
Catholic.  His  service  is  something  higher  and  greater  than 
mere  prayer  :  it  is  a  tremendous  sacrifice  ;  and  as  the  sacri- 
fice may  be  offered  entirely  independent  of  prayer,  it  matters 
but  little  whether  the  share  prayer  takes  in  it  be  little  or 
great,  provided  everything  else  is  duly  ordered.  For  which 
reason  some  of  the  ablest  spiritual  writers  have  said  again 
and  again  that  one  of  the  most  efficacious  ways  of  hearing 
Mass  is  to  watch  the  actions  of  the  priest  at  the  altar  with 
great  attention  from  beginning  to  end,  and  look  as  little  at 
the  prayer-book  as  possible.  A  person  who  could  do  this 
without  distraction  would  reap  incalculable  spiritual  fruit 
from  it,  and  would,  without  a  doubt,  be  assisting  at  Mass  in 
the  strictest  sense  of  the  word. 


The  Catholic  Church  celebrates  in  Latin  for  a  variety  of 
reasons  : 

First.  Because  she  did  so  in  the  beginning  ;  and  as  she 
never  changes  her  faith,  she  has  never  deemed  it  advisable 
to  change  her  language.     If  her  sacred  language  changed 

34  The  Mass — Origin  of  the  Word,  Etc. 

with  those  that  are  changing  around  her,  there  would  be  no 
end  to  the  confusion  that  would  result,  and  much  disedifi- 
cation  would  unavoidably  be  given  by  using  words  and 
phrases  in  the  hearing  of  the  people  to  which  the  grossest 
meanings  are  sometimes  attached. 

Secondly.  As  order  is  heaven's  first  law,  uniformity  seems 
to  be  the  first  law  of  the  Church,  for  which  reason  she 
makes  it  her  endeavor  to  have  her  greatest  charge,  the  due 
and  respectful  celebration  of  the  Adorable  Sacrifice  of  the 
Altar,  conducted  with  the  same  ceremonies  and  said  in  the 
same  language  everywhere.  This  she  could  not  do  unless 
she  had  fixed  on  a  common  language. 

Thirdly.  Unity  in  respect  to  language  goes  a  very  great 
way  in  preserving  unity  of  belief.  A  writer  of  high  repute 
(Porubszky,  Jure  suo  Ecclesiast.,  p.  854)  declares  as  his  firm 
conviction  that  the  various  churches  of  the  East  which 
have  severed  their  connection  with  the  centre  of  unity, 
Rome,  would  hardly  ever  have  done  so  had  they  been  re- 
quired from  the  beginning  to  make  Latin  their  liturgical 
language.  National  languages  always  pave  the  way  for  na- 
tional churches. 

Fourthly.  By  preserving  the  Latin  in  her  Liturgy,  and 
requiring  her  ministers  to  cultivate  it,  the  Catholic  Church 
has  secured  for  herself  the  accumulated  literary  treasures  of 
eighteen  centuries  of  Christianity.  By  this  she  has  free 
access  to  the  writings  of  some  of  the  most  illustrious  doctors 
of  the  Church,  to  canon  and  civil  law,  to  the  decrees  of 
ancient  councils,  and  to  many  other  documents  of  value 
which  would  have  otherwise  been  totally  out  of  reach.  For 
tfhich  reason  alone  our  Holy  Church  should  receive  the 
praise  of  Christendom.  Hallam,  in  his  Middle  Ages,  could 
not  hide  the  fact  that  the  sole  hope  of  literature  in  these 
times  depended  principally  on  the  Catholic  Church,  for 
wherever  it  existed  the  Latin  language  was  preserved. 

Priest  of th eLatih Church. 
4qo£u^Ye2ted  for  Mass. 




The  sacred  vestments  employed  by  a  priest  in  celebrating 
the  iioly  Sacrifice  are  six  in  number — viz.,  Amice,  Alb^ 
Cincture,  Maniple,  Stole,  and  Chasuble. 


The  Amice,  so  called  from  the  Latin  amicire,  to  clothe  or 
cover,  is  a  rectangular  piece  of  linen  about  three  feet  long 
and  two  feet  wide.  It  has  a  string  at  each  of  its  two  upper 
corners  by  which  to  fasten  it  on  the  shoulders  of  the  wearer, 
and  a  cross  in  the  middle  of  the  upper  edge,  which  the 
priest  kisses  when  vesting. 

From  the  office  which  the  Amice  serves  various  names 
have  been  given  it,  such  as  Humeral,  from  the  Latin  hume- 
rus, a  shoulder ;  Anabolagium,  from  the  Greek  dvafioXrf 
(anabole),  a  cloak  ;  and  Ephod,  from  its  resemblance  to  the 
Aaronic  garment  of  that  name. 

The  Greek  Church  uses  no  article  of  this  kind  at  the  pre- 
sent time,  although  it  did  formerly.  The  priests  of  the  Am- 
brosian  or  Milanese  rite,  also  the  canons  of  the  Cathedral  of 
Lyons,  put  on  the  Amice  after  the  Alb,  and  not  before  it,  as 
we  do.  This  is  also  the  discipline  of  the  Maronites  of  Mt. 

The  Amice  of  the  Armenians,  called  by  them  Vakass,  has 
a  breastplate  attached,  upon  which  are  inscribed  the  names 
of  the  twelve  Apostles,  in  imitation  of  the  Jewish  Ephod, 
whose  breastplate  displayed,  in  shining  colors,  the  names  of 

86  Sacred  Vestments. 

the  twelve  tribes  of  Israel  (Neale's  Holy  Eastern  Churchy 
toI.  i.  p.  306). 

Early  History  of  the  Amice. — Liturgical  writers  tell  us 
that  the  Amice,  in  early  days,  served  as  a  covering  for  the 
head  and  neck,  and  that  it  continued  to  be  so  used  until 
about  the  tenth  century,  when  its  place  was  supplied  by  the 
ecclesiastical  cap,  or  lerretta  then  introduced  (Bouvry,  Ex- 
positio  Rubricarum,  vol.  ii.  216). 

This  is  corroborated  by  the  practice  yet  prevailing  with 
some  of  the  religious  orders,  such  as  the  Capuchins  and 
Dominicans,  of  wearing  the  Amice  over  the  head  until 
the  beginning  of  Mass,  when  they  cast  it  back  on  their 
shoulders  and  adjust  it  around  the  neck.  A  vestige  of  its 
ancient  use  may  also  be  seen  in  the  ordination  of  a  subdea- 
con,  where  the  bishop  draws  the  article  first  over  the  candi- 
date's head,  and  then  lets  it  fall  loosely  over  his  shoulders. 

Mystical  Meaning  of  the  Amice. — The  mystical  meaning  of 
the  Amice  may  be  gathered  from  the  prayer  recited  in  don- 
ning it :  "  Place  upon  my  head,  0  Lord  !  the  helmet  of  sal- 
vation for  repelling  the  attacks  of  the  evil  one."  It  is, 
then,  part  of  the  armor  of  a  soldier  of  Christ,  and  serves  to 
remind  the  priest  of  the  obligation  he  is  under  of  being 
Jeady  at  all  times  to  fight  the  good  fight  of  faith  in  accord- 
ance with  that  sacred  admonition  of  the  Apostle  of  the  Gen- 
tiles, "  Put  ye  on  the  armor  of  God,  that  you  may  be  able  to 
stand  against  the  deceits  of  the  devil.  .  .  .  And  take 
unto  you  the  helmet  of  salvation  "  (Ephesians  vi.  11-17). 


The  second  vestment  the  priest  clothes  himself  with  is  the 
Alb,  so  called  from  its  white  color — alius  in  Latin  meaning 
white.  It  is  an  ample,  loosely-fitting  garment  of  pure  linen, 
entirely  enveloping  the  body,  and  fastened  at  the  neck  by 
tneans  of  strings. 

The  Alb.  37 

The  use  of  a  vestment  of  this  kind  is  of  the  highest  anti- 
quity, for  we  find  it  employed  by  all  nations  in  their  reli- 
gious services.  It  is  the  same  as  the  linen  garment  ordered 
to  be  worn  by  the  priests  of  the  Old  Law  (Exod.  xxviii. ; 
Levit.  viii.)  King  David  wore  a  linen  Alb  when  translating 
the  Ark  of  the  Covenant  from  the  house  of  Obededom  to 
Jerusalem  (1  Parol,  xv.  27). 

We  have  said  that  the  Alb  is  made  of  linen  ;  this,  at  least, 
is  the  present  discipline  in  regard  to  it,  but  formerly  it  was 
often  made  of  silk  and  ornamented  with  gold.  King  Ethel- 
wolf,  of  Anglo-Saxon  times,  and  father  of  Alfred  the  Great, 
presented  the  Church  of  St.  Peter's  at  Rome,  in  a.d.  855, 
with  a  number  of  silken  Albs  richly  ornamented  in  this  way 
(Church  of  Our  Fathers,  by  Dr.  Rock,  vol.  i.  p.  426).  An 
ancient  Roman  ordo,  published  by  Hittorp,  prescribes  silken 
Albs  for  Holy  Thursday  and  Holy  Saturday  (ibid.) 

The  Alb,  too,  changed  in  color  to  suit  particular  occa- 
sions. The  monks  of  Cluny  used  to  wear  one  of  pure  cloth 
of  gold  in  the  High  Masses  of  the  greater  festivals  ;  and  we 
find  some  of  green,  blue,  and  red  in  an  old  inventory  of  the 
celebrated  monastery  of  Peterborough,  in  England  (ibid,, 
pp.  430-433  et  passim). 

Pope  Benedict  XIV.,  De  Sacr.  Misses,  is  our  authority  for 
saying  that  a  garment  of  this  kind,  but  of  a  black  color, 
used  to  be  formerly  worn  on  Good  Friday. 

Figurative  Signification  of  the  Alb. — According  to  Pope 
Innocent  III.  (De  Sacr.  Altaris  Mysterio,  57),  the  Alb,  from 
the  purity  of  its  color,  denotes  newness  oi  life,  and  reminds 
up  of  St.  Paul's  admonition  to  the  E^hesians,  chap,  iv.: 
"Pat  off  the  old  man  with  all  his  acts,  aid  clothe  yourselves 
with  the  new  man,  who,  according  to  God,  is  created  in 
justice  and  holiness  of  truth."  This  beautiful  idea  of  a 
new  life,  as  signified  by  the  Alb,  is  very  forcibly  presented 
to    us   in   Holy    Baptism,    where    the    newly-regenerated 

38  Sacred  Vestments. 

receives  a  white  garment  with  these  significant  words : 
"Receive  this  white  and  spotless  garment  which  you  are 
to  bear  before  the  tribunal  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  that 
you  may  possess  eternal  life.     Amen." 

Oriental  Usage.— The  Greeks  call  the  Alb  Poderis,  from 
its  reaching  to  the  feet  (Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  281).  This, 
however,  is  not  the  name  that  it  is  generally  known  by, 
for  we  find  it  mentioned  in  nearly  all  the  Oriental  Liturgies 
as  the  Stoicharion  (Denzinger,  Ritus  Orientalium,  pp. 
129-405  ;  Renaudot,  Liturg.  Orient.,  i.  161).  It  is  the  first 
vestment  of  all  the  orders  of  the  clergy,  and,  though 
anciently  made  of  linen,  is  now,  with  many  of  the  Oriental 
churches,  of  nothing  else  but  white  silk  (Denzinger,  129). 

In  the  Russian  Church  a  Stoicharion  of  purple   is  pre- 
scribed for  all  days  in  Lent  except  the  Feast  of  the  Annun 
ciation,   Palm  Sunday,   and  Holy  Saturday    (Neale's   Holy 
Eastern  Church,  vol.  i.  p.  307). 

With  the  Copto-Jacobites  (or  Monophysites  of  Egypt)  it 
is  known  indifferently  by  the  names  Jabat  and  Touniat ; 
and  with  those  of  Syria  as  the  Koutino,  evidently  from  the 
Greek  xirc*)Vlov,  an  under-garment  (Renaudot,  i.  161,  ii. 
54).  The  Copts,  too,  sometimes  call  it  Kamis  (Denzinger, 
129),  from  the  Latin  camisia  and  the  French  chemise,1  an 
under-gown.  They  are  very  strict  in  their  discipline  re- 
garding the  wearing  of  it.  No  priest  would  dare  enter 
the  sanctuary  without  it.  Should  he  present  himself  for 
Holy  Communion,  and  neglect  to  have  himself  clothed  with 
it,  he  is  at  once  ordered  to  depart  and  communicate  at  the 
rails  with  the   common  people.     One  of  their  disciplinary 

1  It  will  interest  the  reader  to  know  that  the  camisia,  or  under-gown,  of  Our  Blessed 
Lady  is  yet  preserved,  with  affectionate  veneration,  in  a  silver  case  at  Chartres,  in 
France.  It  is  inscribed  "  La  Cheiniee  de  la  Sainte  Vierge,"  and  so  well  authenticated 
that  it  would  be  rash  to  entertain  a  doubt  about  it.  For  a  full  account  of  its  miracu- 
lous history  see  Nicephorus  Calixtus,  Hist.  Eccl.,  lib.  xv.  chap,  xxxiv  \  or  the  Truth 
of  Supposed  Legends,  by  Cardinal  Wiseman, 

The  Cincture.  39 

canons  on  this  head  runs  thus  :  "  It  is  unlawful  for  a  priest 
to  pray  or  receive  Holy  Communion8  without  his  being 
vested  with  a  Chitonion.  The  thing  would  be  unbecom- 
ing and  at  variance  with  the  canon  of  holy  faith/'  And 
another :  "  Let  not  a  priest  approach  Holy  Communion 
on  the  steps  of  the  altar  unless  vested  with  the  Stoicharion. 
Should  he  not  have  this  he  must  communicate  outside  the 
rails"  (Renaudot,  Liturg.  Orient.,  i.  160). 

Priests  of  the  Latin  Church  put  on  the  Alb  with  the 
prayer  :  "  Purify  me,  0  Lord  !  and  make  me  clean  of  heart, 
that,  washed  in  the  Blood  of  the  Lamb,  I  may  possess 
eternal  joy."  In  the  Russian  Church  the  prayer  is  :  "My 
soul  doth  magnify  the  Lord,  who  clothed  me  in  the  gar- 
ment of  salvation"  (Greco- Russian  Church,  by  Romanoff, 
p.  89). 


The  Cincture  occupies  the  third  place  in  the  catalogue 
of  sacred  vestments.  It  is  of  as  high  antiquity  as  the  Alb, 
which  it  always  accompanies  ;  its  chief,  in  fact  its  only, 
office  being  to  keep  that  garment  in  its  proper  place  on  the 
person  of  the  wearer.  Different  writers  give  it  different 
names,  such  as  zone,  girdle,  hand,  belt,  and  the  like.  It  is 
required  to  be  of  linen,  and  of  such  a  length  that,  when 
doubled,  it  may  encircle  the  body  of  the  priest.  Formerly 
it  was  wide  like  a  sash,  and  was  often  made  of  the  most 
precious  materials — such  as  cloth  of  gold,  silk,   etc. — and 

a  We  here  beg  to  inform  the  reader  that  it  is  cv  r-tomary  for  all  the  priests  of  the 
JSast  who  assist  at  Mass,  whether  as  concelebrants  ^that  is,  celebrating  the  self-same 
Ht.urgy  with  the  celebrant  of  the  day)  or  as  mere  lookers-on,  to  receive  Holy  Com- 
munion from  the  hands  of  the  priest  at  the  altar.  Should,  however,  the  patriarch  be 
present  at  such  a  Mass,  but  not  celebrant,  he  approaches  the  altar  and  communicates 
himself  (Denzinger,  Bit.  Oriental.,  p.  405).  The  practice  of  thus  receiving  from  the 
hands  of  the  priest  celebrating  is  observed  in  our  Church  on  Holy  Thursday,  but  on  no 
other  occasion. 

40  Sacred  Vestments, 

used  to  be  studded  with  gems  (Church  of  Our  Fathers, 
vol.  i.  p.  488,  by  Dr.  Rock).  A  cincture  found  upon  the 
body  of  a  deceased  bishop  taken  up  in  Durham  Cathedral 
in  1829  is  thus  described  by  Raine :  "  Of  the  girdle,  or 
cingulum,  the  portion  which  we  were  enabled  to  preserve 
measures  twenty-five  inches  in  length ;  its  breadth  is 
exactly  seven-eighths  of  an  inch.  It  has  evidently  pro- 
ceeded from  the  loom ;  and  its  two  component  parts  are  a 
flattish  thread  of  pure  gold  and  a  thread  of  scarlet  silk, 
which  are  not  combined  in  any  particular  pattern,  save 
that,  at  a  very  short  distance  from  each  selvage,  there  run 
two  or  three  longitudinal  lines,  which  serve  to  break  the 
uniformity  of  the  whole.  The  lining  is  of  silk  "  (ibid.  489, 
note  22).  It  varied  also  in  color  formerly,  to  suit  the  dif- 
ferent colors  of  the  vestments ;  but  now  it  is  rarely  seen 
of  any  other  color  but  white,  although  the  rubrics  do  not 
forbid  other  colors  to  be  used  at  the  option  of  the  priest. 
And  as  regards  its  material,  according  to  the  present  dis- 
cipline, it  is  required  to  be  of  pure  linen,  and  of  nothing 
else.  Terminating  both  ends  are  two  large  tassels,  which 
hang  down  equally  on  each  side  of  the  priest  when  vested. 

Mentioned  in  Holy  Scripture.— The  Cincture  is  frequently 
alluded  to  in  Holy  Scripture,  where  many  moral  significa- 
tions are  attached  to  it.  The  prophet  Isaias,  in  describing 
the  Messias,  says  of  him  :  "  Justice  shall  be  the  girdle  of 
his  loins,  and  faith  the  girdle  of  his  reins  "  (xi.  5).  Our 
Divine  Lord  himself,  when  addressing  his  disciples,  thus 
exhorted  them  :  "Let  your  loins  be  girt,  and  lamps  burn- 
ing in  your  hands"  (Luke  xii.  35)  ;  and  St.  John,  in  the 
Apocalypse,  says  that  he  saw  "  in  the  midst  of  the  seven 
golden  candlesticks  one, -K^^iJ^ihe  Son  of  Man,  clothed 
with  a  garment  down  to  the  feet,  and  girt  about  the  paps 
with  a  golden  girdle '{JkW^J SJ 

Cincture  in  the  Old  la^.— In  tfreWd  Law.  as  wp.11  a*  i« 

The  Cincture.  41 

the  New,  the  Cincture  occupied  a  prominent  place  among  the 
priestly  vestments.  According  to  the  Jewish  historian  Jose- 
phus  (p.  74),  its  width  was  four  fingers,  and  it  was  woven  in 
such  a  manner  as  to  exhibit  the  appearance  of  serpents" 
scales.  It  used  to  be  ornamented  with  floral  embroidery 
in  purple,  dark-blue,  scarlet,  and  white.  The  manner  of 
weaving  it  was  as  now.  The  name  given  it  by  Moses  was 
Abaneth  ;  but  the  more  recent  Jews  called  it,  in  accordance 
with  Babylonic  usage,  Emia. 

Cincture  of  the  Orientals. — The  Cinctures  of  the  Greeks 
and  Syrians  are  much  broader  than  ours,  and,  instead  of 
being  knotted  on  the  person  of  the  wearer,  are  buckled  in 
front  with  a  hook  or  clasp.  These  Cinctures  are  sometimes 
made  of  very  precious  silk,  studded  with  precious  stones. 
A  gilt  hook,  shaped  like  an  "  S,"  is  employed  to  fasten 
them  around  the  waist  (Dr.  Rock,  Church  of  Our  Fathers, 
i.  490,  491).  Renaudot  {Comment,  ad  Liturg.  Copt.  S. 
Basilii,  p.  161)  tells  us  that,  to  draw  as  broad  a  line  as 
possible  between  the  followers  of  the  Koran  and  xhe  Chris- 
tians of  Egypt,  some  of  the  Caliphs3  used  to  oblige  the 
latter  to  wear  a  certain  kind  of  Cincture  always  in  common 
life.  To  exhort  the  faithful  to  bear  this  intended  humil- 
iation with  true  Christian  fortitude,  the  Fathers  of  those 
days  delivered  many  touching  homilies  to  them.  While 
this  state  of  things  lasted  the  Christians  of  those  parts 
were  commonly  styled  "  Christiani  de  Cingulo  " — that  is, 
Cincture-ioearing  C hristians. 

The  prayer  recited  in  putting  on  the  Cincture  is  worded 
as  follows :  " Gird  me,  0  Lord  !  with  the  Cincture  of 
purity,  and  extinguish  in  my  loins  the  heat  of  concupis- 

•  Caliph— from  the  Arabic  Jcaleefah,  and  the  Chaldaic  chdtaph,  to  change,  to  succeed; 
hence,  a  ruler— is  the  official  title  of  the  highest  Mahometan  dignitary  in  spirituals 
and  temporals.  He  is  regarded  as  actually  holding  the  place  of  Mahomet  himself ; 
therefore  he  must  be  considered  in  point  of  fact  as  his  vicar  on  earth. 

42  Sacred  Vestments. 

cence,  that  the  virtue  of  continence  and  chastity  may  abide 
in  me." 

The  Russian  priests,  who  wear  a  Cincture  exactly  like 
ours,  recite  the  following  prayer  in  vesting  themselves  with 
it :  "  Blessed  be  the  Lord,  who  girdeth  me  with  strength, 
and  maketh  my  path  undefiled  "  (Romanoff,  Greco-Russian 
Church,  p.  89). 

Venerable  Relics. — Among  the  many  sacred  relics  yet  pre- 
served, and  exhibited  every  seven  years  for  the  veneration  of 
the  faithful,  in  the  great  church  of  Aix-la-Chapelle,  in  France, 
is  the  veritable  Cincture  worn  by  our  Blessed  Redeemer. 
It  is  entirely  of  leather,  and  bears  at  its  extremities  the 
imperial  seal  of  Constantine  the  Great.  Thousands  flock 
thither  from  all  quarters  of  the  globe  to  behold  this  pre- 
cious curiosity  {Catholic  World,  Sept.,  1872).  The  Cincture 
worn  by  Our  Blessed  Lady  is  said  to  be  preserved  also  in 
the  Church  of  Our  Lady  of  Montserrat  at  Prato,  in  Tus- 
cany (Burder,  Religious   Ceremonies  and   Customs,  235). 

Moral  Lesson  taught  by  the  Cincture. — The  moral  lesson 
intended  to  be  conveyed  by  the  wearing  of  the  Cincture  is 
easily  gathered  from  the  prayer  recited  in  putting  it  on. 
It  reminds  the  wearer  of  the  great  purity  of  mind  and 
heart  that  he  ought  to  be  filled  with  in  his  ministrations 
before  a  God  of  infinite  holiness  and  sanctity.  The  high- 
priests  of  the  Old  Law  were  reminded  of  this  solemn  obli- 
gation by  being  obliged  to  wear  on  their  foreheads  a  golden 
plate  with  the  words  "mr&  mp»— Kadesh  la  Jehovah 
(Bannister,  Temples  of  the  Hebrews,  p.  180)— inscribed  upon 
it ;  that  is,  Holiness  to  Jehovah.  How  much  more  holiness 
is  required  in  priests  of  the  New  Law,  where  the  Victim  of 
sacrifice  is  none  other  than  the  Son  of  God  himself,  the 
Jehovah  of  the  New  Covenant  ? 

Other  mystical  meanings  were  also  attached  to  the  Cinc- 
ture, such  as  promptitude  in  executing  the  commands  of 

The  Maniple.  43 

God  ;  exactness  in  religious  observances  ;  and  watchfulness 
in  regard  to  our  eternal  salvation,  in  accordance  with  that 
solemn  admonition  of  our  Divine  Lord  himself  :  "  Let  your 
loins  be  girt,  and  lamps  burning  in  your  hands  "  (Luke  xii. 
35).  That  is,  be  ready  at  all  times  to  appear  before  the 
tribunal  of  divine  justice. 


The  Maniple  is  the  fourth  article  which  the  priest  vests 
himself  with.  It  is  a  small  strip  of  precious  cloth,  of  the 
same  material  as  the  Stole  and  Chasuble,  having  three 
crosses  embroidered  upon  it — one  in  the  middle,  and  one 
at  each  of  its  extremities.  It  is  worn  on  the  left  wrist,  to 
which  it  is  fastened  either  by  a  pin  or  a  string.  Its  whole 
length  is  generally  about  two  feet,  and  its  breadth  about 
four  inches.  When  fastened  on,  it  hangs  equally  on  both 

Ancient  Names  given  the  Maniple. — The  Maniple  was 
anciently  known  by  as  many  as  ten  different  names — viz., 
Mappula,  Sudarium,  Brachial  Cincture,  Mantile,  Linteum, 
Aer,  Sacerdotale  Cincticulum,  Maniple,  Mappa  Parva,  and 
Phanon  (Gavantus,  Thesaur.  Sacr.  Bit.,  p.  130). 

Originally  it  was  intended  solely  for  wiping  the  perspira- 
tion from  the  face  of  the  wearer,  and  drying  the  hands  so 
that  the  sacred  vestments  may  not  be  soiled  by  them.  In 
fact,  it  served  in  every  way  as  a  handkerchief,  as  we  see 
from  what  the  ancients  have  written  about  it.  Thus 
Alcuin,  in  the  ninth  century,  speaks  of  it  as  follows  :  "  The 
little  kerchief  which  is  worn  on  the  left  hand,  wherewith 
we  wipe  off  the  moisture  of  the  eyes  and  nose,  designates 
the  present  life,  in  which  we  suffer  from  superfluous 
humors"  (Bona,  Ber.  Lxturg.,  281). 

Amalarius  also,  who  lived  about  the  same  period,  writes 

44  Sacred  Vestments, 

of  it  thus  :  "  We  carry  a  handkerchief  (Sudarium)  ic*  the 
purpose  of  wiping  the  perspiration"  {Hid.) 

The  Maniple,  as  we  have  said,  was  fastened  to  the  left 
wrist.  The  ancient  form  of  the  Chasuble,  of  which  we  shall 
give  a  full  account  further  on,  required  this  disposition  ;  for 
if  it  were  kept  anywhere  else  it  would  be  almost  wholly  out 
of  reach  of  the  priest,  who  was  enveloped  on  all  sides,  as 
our  print  will  show  (see  figure).  As  long  as  the  ancient 
ample  Chasuble  remained  in  use  the  Maniple  was  not 
allowed  to  rest  on  the  wrist  until  the  priest  was  about  to 
ascend  the  altar-steps.  Then  the  Chasuble  was  folded  up 
by  the  deacon  and  subdeacon,  and  the  left  arm  being  thus 
entirely  free,  the  Maniple  was  fastened  to  it,  and  thus 
did  it  remain  until  the  end  of  Mass.  A  vestige  of  this 
ancient  practice  is  yet  preserved  in  a  Bishop's  Mass,  where 
the  Maniple  is  not  fastened  to  the  prelate's  wrist  until  the 
"  indulgentiam" — that  is,  a  little  before  he  ascends  the 

According  to  the  best  authorities,  the  Maniple  served  the 
purpose  of  a  handkerchief  until  about  the  twelfth  century. 
After  this  it  became  a  liturgical  ornament  (Kozma,  Liturg. 
Sacr.  Cathol,  44),  with  no  other  office  but  a  symbolic  one. 
Our  holy  Church  is  always  loath  to  part  with  any  of  her 
ancient  apparel. 

Material  of  the  Maniple. — Whilst  the  Maniple  served  as  a 
handkerchief  it  used  to  be  made  of  fine  white  linen,  and 
was  frequently  carried  in  the  hand  during  divine  service 
instead  of  being  fastened  to  the  wrist  ;  but  when  it  passed 
into  a  liturgical  ornament,  then  the  material  of  which  it  was 
made  changed  to  suit  thafu  of  the  Stole  and  Chasuble.  In 
some  parts  of  England  it  was  customary  to  attach  little  bells 
of  gold  and  silver  to  its  edging  (Dr.  Rock,  Church  of  Our 
Fathers,  i.  422). 

The  Maniple  is  put  on  with  the  following  prayer  :  "  May 

The  Maniple.  45 

I  deserve,  0  Lord  !  to  bear  the  Maniple  of  weeping  and  sor- 
row, in  order  that  I  may  joyfully  reap  the  reward  of  my 
labors."  The  reference  in  the  words  "weeping  and  sor- 
row "  is  to  what  frequently  occurred  in  days  gone  by  during 
the  sacred  ministrations  at  the  altar,  when  many  holy 
men  wept,  sometimes  with  joy  at  being  allowed  to  assist  at 
so  tremendous  a  sacrifice,  and  sometimes  with  sorrow  for 
their  unworthiness.  Durandus,  in  his  Rationale  Divi- 
norum,  p.  110,  says  that  St.  Arsenius  used  to  be  so  affected. 

Mystical  Meaning. — The  mystical  meaning,  then,  of  the 
Maniple  is  that  it  reminds  the  priest  of  the  trials  and 
troubles  of  this  life,  and  the  reward  that  awaits  him  if  he 
bears  them  in  a  Christian-like  manner. 

Maniple  of  the  Orientals. — The  Orientals  wear  two  Mani- 
ples, one  on  each  arm,  which  are  usually  denominated  Epi- 
manikia, a  barbarous  word,  from  the  Greek  ini,  upon, 
and  the  Latin  manus,  a  hand — that  is,  something  worn 
upon  the  hand.  In  form  the  Epimanikia  differ  from  our 
Maniple  considerably,  although  there  is  no  doubt  but  that 
at  one  time  both  served  the  same  purpose.  They  are 
shaped  somewhat  like  the  large,  loose  sleeves  of  a  surplice, 
and  are  fastened  to  the  wrist  by  a  silken  string.  The 
rule  requires  that  they  be  fastened  tightly,  for  they  are 
intended  to  remind  the  wearer  of  the  cords  that  fastened 
our  Lord's  hands  to  the  pillar  of  flagellation. 

The  Oriental  bishops  are  accustomed  to  wear  upon  their 
Maniples  an  icon,  or  image  of  our  Divine  Saviour,  which 
they  present  to  the  people  to  be  kissed. 

With  the  Syrians  the  Epimanikia  are  called  Zendo  ;  with 
the  Armenians,  Pasban  ;  with  the  Russians,  Poruche 
(hand-pieces)  ;  and  with  the  Copts,  Manicm. 

A  Russian  priest,  in  donning  these  articles,  says,  when 
putting  on  the  right-hand  one:  "The  right  hand  of  the 
Lord  hath  pre-eminence ;    the   right  hand    of    the    Lord 

46  Sacred  Vestments. 

bringeth  mighty  things  to  pass";  and  when  putting  on 
the  left-hand  one  :  "  Thy  hands  have  made  me  and  fash- 
ioned me  ;  oh  !  give  me  understanding,  that  I  may  learn  thy 
commandments."  In  the  sentence,  "  the  right  hand  of  the 
Lord  hath  pre-eminence,"  there  is  a  reference  to  the  tradi- 
tion that  the  Jews  first  nailed  our  Saviour's  right  hand  to 
the  cross,  and  then  the  left  (see  Goar,  Euchologium  Grcs- 
corum,  p.  Ill  ;  Neale,  Holy  Eastern  Church,  vol.  i.  p.  307 ; 
Eenaudot,  Liturg.  Orient.  Collect.,  i.  162  ;  Denzinger, 
Ritus  Orientalium,  p.  131 ;  and  G-avantus,  Thesaur,  Sacr. 
Rit.,  131). 


The  Stole  ranks  fifth  in  the  catalogue.  It  is  a  long  band 
of  precious  cloth,  of  the  same  width  as  the  Maniple,  but 
about  three  times  its  length.  It  is  worn  round  the  neck 
and  crossed  on  the  breast,  in  which  position  it  is  kept  by 
the  Cincture.  It  is  universally  admitted  that  originally 
the  Stole  was  very  similar  to  the  modern  Alb,  and  that,  like 
the  latter,  it  used  to  envelop  the  entire  person  (Durandus, 
Rationale  Divinorum,  lib.  iii.,  v.  6,  p.  108). 

According  to  Cardinal  Bona  (Rer.  Liturg.,  282),  what  we 
now  call  a  Stole  is  nothing  else  but  the  ornamental  band 
that  used  to  form  the  selvage  of  what  was  really  the  Stole  of 
the  ancients ;  and  that  as  soon  as  the  practice  of  wearing 
that  kind  of  Stole  went  into  desuetude  the  band  was  re- 
tained as  a  sort  of  memorial  of  it,  just  as  the  Maniple  is  a 
memorial  of  the  ancient  Sudarium,  or  handkerchief. 

Who  may  Wear  the  Stole.— The  right  to  wear  the  Stole 
begins  from  the  time  of  one's  ordination  as  deacon.  The 
deacon,  however,  cannot  wear  it  as  a  priest  does — that  is, 
around  both  shoulders — but  only  as  yet  over  the  left  shoul- 
der, and  fastened  at  the  right  side  ;  and  this  to  remind  him 
of  his  inferiority  in  orders  to  a  priest,  and  of  his  obligation 

The  Stole.  47 

to  be  as  little  encumbered  as  possible,  especially  about  the 
right  hand,  when  acting  as  his  assistant  minister.  Upon 
this  head  the  fourth  Council  of  Toledo,  held  in  a.d.  633, 
under  Pope  Honorius  I.,  issued  the  following  directions  : 
"  The  levite  (deacon)  ought  to  wear  one  Orarion  (Stole)  on 
his  left  shoulder  when  he  prays ;  but  he  must  have  the  right 
shoulder  free,  to  the  end  that  he  may  be  the  more  expedi- 
tious in  administering  to  the  wants  of  the  priest "  (Bona, 
Eer.  Liturg.,  282). 

The  bishop  wears  the  Stole  pendent  on  both  sides,  without 
crossing  it  on  the  breast  as  a  priest  does,  and  this  because 
he  wears  a  cross  already  on  his  breast — viz.,  the  Pectoral 
Cross 4 — whereby  this  necessity  is  obviated  (Gavantus,  134). 

The  prayer  recited  by  the  priest  while  vesting  himself  with 
the  Stole  is  worded  thus  :  "  Eestore  to  me,  0  Lord  !  the  Stole 
of  immortality  which  I  lost  through  the  transgression  of  my 
first  parents,  and,  though  I  approach  unworthily  to  celebrate 
thy  sacred  Mystery,  may  I  merit  nevertheless  eternal  joy." 

Many  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  Stoles  and  Maniples  had  lit- 
tle bells  of  silver  and  gold  attached  to  them,  which  made 
a  most  agreeable,  delicate  sound  whenever  the  sacred  minis- 
ter changed  his  position.  Dr.  Eock,  in  his  Church  of  Our 
Fathers,  vol.  i.  p.  415,  note  60,  tells  us  that  there  was  once 
kept  at  Liege,  in  the  Abbey  Church  of  Wazor,  the  Stole  of 
St.  Foraunan,  an  Irish  bishop  who  died  in  a.d.  982  while 
abbot  of  that  monastery,  which  had  hanging  from  its  ex- 

*  The  Pectoral  Cross  was  originally  a  reliquary  case,  and  received  its  shape  from  the 
fact  that  it  used  generally  to  contain  a  splinter  of  the  true  cross  upon  which  our  Lord 
was  crucified.  The  reliquary,  or  neck-cross,  as  it  used  to  he  anciently  called,  worn  hy 
Pope  Gregory  the  Great,  was  made  of  thin  silver.  Those  now  in  use  date  no  further 
back  than  the  sixteenth  century  (Dr.  Rock,  Church  of  Our  Fathers,  vol.  ii.  174).  The 
Eastern  bishops  wear  hanging  from  their  necks  what  is  called  the  Panhagia,  a  Greek 
word  meaning  "  all-holy,"  in  which  there  is  inserted  an  enamelled  medallion  of  our 
Lord  and  his  Blessed  Mother.  This  is  often  very  richly  ornamented  with  precious 
Btonea.    It  is  suspended  by  a  golden  chain  (Romanoff,  Greco-Bwsian  Church,  399). 

48  Sacred  Vestments. 

tremities  a  number  of  little  silver  bells.     These  little  bells 
were  sometimes  as  many  as  twenty-seven  (ibid.) 

Stole  of  the  Orientals.— The  Stole  of  the  Orientals,  gene- 
rally  known  as  the  Epitrachelion,  from  the  Greek  int, 
upon,  and  rpaxv^ov,  the  neck,  is  somewhat  different 
from  ours ;  for  instead  of  being  parted,  so  as  to  allow  it  to 
hang  down  equally  on  each  side,  it  is  made  of  one  piece  oi 
stuff,  with  a  seam  worked  along  its  middle,  and  having  an 
opening  at  the  top  wide  enough  to  allow  the  priest's  head 
to  pass  through.  It  hangs  down,  when  worn  at  Mass,  in 
front  of  the  priest,  reaching  nearly  to  the  instep. 

The  Copts  call  the  Stole  Bitarshil ;  the  Syrians,  Ouroro  ; 
the  Armenians,  Ourar  (Goar,  Euchol.  Grcec,  p.  Ill  ; 
Neale's  Holy  Eastern  Church,  i.  308  ;  Denzinger,  Ritus 
Orient.,  133). 

Touching  the  origin  of  this  word  ourar,  or  orarium,  as 
applied  to  the  Stole  in  ancient  manuscripts  and  liturgical 
writings,  there  has  always  been  much  dispute.  We  incline, 
for  our  part,  to  the  side  of  those  who  derive  it  from  the 
Greek  Spa,  an  hour,  because  it  was  by  waving  the  Ora- 
rium that  the  deacon  pointed  out  the  different  hours  or 
stages  during  divine  service  at  which  the  choir  would  sing 
or  the  congregation  pray.  And  this  is  in  keeping  with  the 
Oriental  discipline  yet.  It  must  be  remembered,  too,  that 
the  name  Orarion  was  peculiar  only  to  the  Stole  of  the 
deacon  ;  that  of  the  priest  was  always  called  Epitrachelion. 

We  had  almost  forgotten  to  mention  that  at  one  time,  at 
least  as  far  back  as  the  ninth  century,  priests  and  bishops, 
even  when  they  were  not  in  church,  always  wore  the  Stole 
as  part  of  their  ecclesiastical  dress  and  as  a  distinctive  mark 
of  their  dignity.  The  Council  of  Mayence,  held  in  a.d. 
813  under  Pope  Leo  III.,  thus  decreed  upon  this  subject : 
"  Let  priests  use  the  Stole  without  intermission,  on  account 
of  the  difference  of  the  priestly  dignity."     According  to  the 


MgR5£ti  Priest  in  wuBLfm 


\5. — 



Tlie  Chasuble.  49 

present  discipline,  only  the  Pope  wears  the  Stole  in  common 
daily  life,  and  this  in  evidence  of  his  jurisdiction  over  the 
universal  Church  (Kozma,  Liturg.  Sacr.  Cathol.,  p.  46). 
The  papal  Stole  is  ornamented  with  three  crosses,  the  keys, 
and  tiara  (ibid.) 


The  Chasuble,  so  called  from  the  Latin  casula,  a  little 
house  (for,  according  to  its  ancient  form,  it  enveloped  the 
entire  person  of  the  priest,  leaving  nothing  but  the  head 
visible),  is  the  last  in  the  catalogue  of  sacred  vestments. 
In  its  present  disposition  it  is  open  at  both  sides,  and,  as 
it  rests  on  the  priest,  it  reaches  down  in  front  to  about  the 
knees,  and  a  few  inches  further  behind.  Its  material  is 
required  to  be  of  precious  cloth,  such  as  brocade,  silk,  or 
the  like ;  and  its  color  one  of  the  five  mentioned  in  the 
rubrics — viz.,  white,  red,  violet,  green,  or  black.  Without 
a  dispensation  from  the  Holy  See  no  other  kind  of  Chasuble 
may  be  used. 

According  to  liturgical  writers  generally,  ^he  ancient 
ample-flowing  Chasuble  was  in  use  up  to  the  sixteenth 
century  (Kozma,  Liturg.  Sacr.  Cathol.,  49),  but  after  that 
period  a  practice  of  clipping  it  set  in,  first  at  the  shoulders 
and  then  down  the  sides,  until  it  assumed  its  present 
shape,  which,  strange  to  say,  was  the  work  of  private  indi- 
vidual fancy  rather  than  of  any  express  wish  or  command 
on  the  part  of  the  Church.  ( '  Id  vero  minime,"  says 
Mgr.  Saussay,  the  learned  Bishop  of  Toul,  "contigisse 
ex  ullo  Pontificum  judicio,  ecclesiaeque  lege,  sed  ex  privato 
genio  quorundam"  (Dr.  Rock,  Church  of  Our  Fathers, 
vol.  i.  329).  Cardinal  Bona  makes  the  same  assertion  (Rer. 
Liturg.,  lib.  i.  cap.  xxiv.  p.  237,  ed.  Sala),  and  so  does 
Honorius  of  Autun. 

The  cause  generally  assigned  for  changing   the  ancient 

50  Sacred  Vestments. 

form  of  the  Chasuble  was  the  difficulty  that  prevailed  foi 
a  long  time,  especially  about  the  sixteenth  century,  of 
procuring  suitable  pliant  material  for  making  it ;  for  if 
made  of  hard,  stiff,  board-like  cloth  as  it  now  is,  while  its 
ancient  shape  was  preserved,  it  would  greatly  encumber  the 
priest  in  his  ministrations  at  the  altar.  Since,  however, 
nothing  else  could  be  conveniently  had  but  this  stiff  mate- 
rial, in  order  to  save  the  Chasuble  as  much  as  possible  from 
the  wear  and  tear  occasioned  by  lifting  and  folding  it  up  so 
often  during  the  Mass,  it  was  deemed  advisable  to  cut  a  slit 
in  both  sides  of  it,  and  in  this  way  its  present  shape  ori- 

Another  reason,  too,  and  a  very  good  one  at  that,  contri- 
buted much  towards  effecting  this  change.  As  long  as  the 
ancient  form  was  in  use  the  difficulty  of  celebrating  Mass 
without  the  aid  of  deacon  and  subdeacon  was  very  great,  for 
the  Chasuble  of  the  celebrant  needed  folding  and  lifting  up 
at  several  parts  of  the  service ;  and  as  it  was  not  at  all  times 
easy  to  have  assistant  ministers,  and  as  private  Masses  became 
more  frequent,  a  form  of  Chasuble  which  the  priest  himself 
could  manage  seemed  to  be  a  desideratum  ;  and  this,  as  much 
as  anything  else,  was  the  cause  of  introducing  Chasubles  of 
the  present  make  (see  Hierurgia,  p.  440  ;  Les  Ceremonies  de 
VEglise,  par  M.  De  Conny,  p.  256). 

The  reader  will  see  with  what  indignation  this  change  in 
the  style  of  the  Chasuble  was  viewed  at  first  from  the  fol- 
lowing words  thundered  forth  by  De  Vert.*     Speaking  of 

•  Claudius  De  Vert  was  a  monk  of  Cluny  and  a  native  of  Paris.  His  death  is  placed 
In  1701.  He  wrote  a  great  work  on  the  ceremonies,  etc.,  of  the  Church,  four  volumes. 
In  which  he  made  himself  singularly  remarkable,  and  not  unfrequently  ridicu- 
lous, by  looking  for  literal  and  natural  meanings,  wholly  disregarding  mystical  ones, 
in  everything  that  was  done  at  Mass.  Durandus  is  about  as  exact  a  match  for  him  on 
the  opposite  side  as  could  possibly  be  found.  The  Rationale  Divinorum  of  this  latter- 
named  author  is  one  of  the  most  curious  books  ever  written,  and,  to  our  mind,  one  of 
the  most  fanciful  and  mystical. 

The  Chasuble,  51 

vestment-makers,  he  says  :  "  They  are  allowed  to  have  the 
liberty  of  nibbling,  clipping,  cutting,  slashing,  shortening, 
just  as  the  whim  may  take,  Chasubles,  Dalmatics,  Tunicles, 
and  other  priestly  garments  or  ornaments  which  serve  for 
the  ministry  of  the  altar ;  in  a  word,  to  give  these  robes 
what  shape  they  like,  without  consulting  the  bishop  on  the 
matter"  (Church  of  Our  Fathers,  vol.  i.  p.  330,  note). 

The  prayer  recited  in  putting  on  the  Chasuble  is  as  fol- 
lows :  "  0  Lord !  who  hast  said,  '  My  yoke  is  sweet  and  my 
burden  light,'  grant  that  I  may  so  carry  it  as  to  merit  thy 
grace."  In  its  figurative  signification,  the  Chasuble  is 
usually  emblematic  of  charity,  on  account  of  its  covering 
the  entire  person,  as  charity  ought  to  cover  the  soul. 

Chasuble  of  the  Orientals. — The  ancient  form  of  Chasuble 
is  yet  in  use  with  all  the  Oriental  churches,  whether 
Catholic  or  schismatic.  The  Maronites  have  obtained  per- 
mission from  the  Holy  See  to  use  our  form,  but  whether 
they  do  so  or  not  we  have  been  unable  to  learn. 

The  Coptic  Chasuble,  which  the  natives  call  ATbornos, 
has  an  ornamental  border  at  the  top  worked  in  gold,  and 
denominated  Tkohlia ;  the  Arabs  call  it  Kaslet.  This, 
however,  is  not  common  to  all  the  orders  of  their  clergy, 
but  is  rather  the  Chasuble  of  a  bishop  (Denzinger,  Ritus 
Oriental,  p.  130). 

Many  of  the  Greek  Chasubles  are  covered  over  with  a 
multiplicity  of  small  crosses,  to  remind  the  priest  that  he  is 
the  minister  of  a  crucified  Master,  whose  Passion  should 
be  ever  before  his  eyes.  In  the  Eussian  Church  the  bishop's 
Chasuble  has  a  number  of  little  bells  attached  to  the  right 
and  left  sides,  and  also  to  the  sleeves  (Komanoff,  Greco- 
Russian  Church,  pp.  89  and  399). 

The  Nestorian  Chasuble  is  a  square  piece  of  cloth,  of 
linen  or  calico,  having  a  cross  in  the  centre.  They  call  it 
Shoshippa  (Badger,  Nestorians  and  their  Rituals,  i.  p.  226). 

52  Sacred  Vestments, 

The  Chasuble  of  the  Hungarian  Greeks  is  so  clipped  in 
front  that  it  hardly  covers  the  breast  (Kozma,  Liturg. 
Sacr.  Cathol.,  p.  48,  note  6). 

The  Chasuble  of  the  Russian  priests  is  now  of  the  same 
style  (Neale,  Holy  Eastern  Church,  i.  309). 

The  Syrians  call  the  Chasuble  Philono,  a  word  evidently 
allied  to  the  general  denomination  of  the  vestment  with 
the  Greeks — viz.,  Phainolion — and  the  ancient  Latin  name, 

In  concluding  our  article  on  the  vestments,  we  have 
thought  it  appropriate  to  append  what  the  best  authori- 
ties have  said  concerning  the  reference  of  each  to  our  Di- 
vine Lord.  We  take  our  remarks  from  Gavantus  (Thesaur. 
Sacr.  Pit.,  p.  137) : 

1.  The  Amice  is  the  veil  which  covered  the  face  of  our 

2.  The  Alb,  the  vesture  he  was  clothed  in  by  Herod. 

3.  The  Cincture,  the  scourge  ordered  by  Pilate. 

4.  The  Maniple,  the  rope  by  which  he  was  led. 

5.  The  Stole,  the  rope  which  fastened  him  to  the  pillar. 

6.  The  Chasuble,  the  purple  garment  worn  before  Pilate. 
The  reader  need  hardly  be  told    that  all  the  vestments 

must  be  blessed  by  the  bishop  before  being  used  at  the  altar. 
Faculties  to  do  this  are  generally  enjoyed  by  ordinary  priests 
in  missionary  countries. 

There  are  four  other  articles  of  clerical  attire,  which, 
though  not  denominated  sacred  vestments,  yet,  because  of  the 
important  part  they  fill,  we  would  consider  it  a  great  over- 
sight to  pass  by  in  silence.  These  are  the  Berretta, 
Zucchetto,  Collar,  and  Cassock. 


The  Berretta  (Italian),  a  sort  of  diminutive  of  the  Latin 
birrus,  a  cape  or  hood,  is  a  square  cap,  with  three  corners 

Tlie  Berretta.  53 

or  prominences  rising  from  its  crown,  and  having,  for  the 
most  part,  a  tassel  depending.  When  lirst  introduced, 
which  is  generally  supposed  to  have  been  soon  after  the 
ninth  century,  it  bad  none  of  these  corners,  but  was  pliant 
and  plain,  something  like  an  ordinary  cap.  The  difficulty, 
however,  of  putting  it  on  and  adjusting  it  properly  on  the 
head  while  it  continued  in  this  way  was  sometimes  veiy 
great,  and  hence  it  was  deemed  advisable  to  have  it  so  fash- 
ioned that  it  could  be  put  on  and  taken  oif  without  any 
trouble.  This  led  to  the  introduction  of  the  three  corners, 
which  are  also  symbolic  of  the  Blessed  Trinity  (Ferraris, 
Bibliotheca,  art.  Bir). 

Color  of  the  Berretta. — The  Berretta  has  but  two  varieties 
of  color — viz.,  red  and  black.  Eed  is  peculiar  and  proper 
to  cardinals,  and  to  them  alone.  Black  is  the  color  for 
all  other  ecclesiastics,  from  cardinals  down,  whether  patri- 
archs, archbishops,  bishops,  or  priests.  According  to  rule, 
a  bishop's  Berretta  should  be  lined  with  green ;  in  all  other 
respects  it  differs  in  nothing  from  that  worn  by  a  priest 
(Martinucci,  Manuale  Sacr.  Ccerem.,  v.  p.  11 ;  De  Herdt, 
Praxis  Pontificalis,  i.  pp.  44  and  45). 

Cardinal's  Berretta. — A  cardinal's  Berretta  is  generally 
made  of  red  silk.  It  has  no  tassel  to  it,  and  never  any 
more  than  three  corners.  A  four-cornered  Berretta  is  ex- 
clusively the  cap  of  a  doctor  of  divinity,  and  he  can  wear  it 
by  right  only  when  teaching  in  the  doctor's  chair  (Bou- 
rry.  Explicatio  Rubricarum,  etc.,  ii.  216,  217). 

Ceremonies  employed  in  Conferring  the  Doctor's  Cap.' — 
By  a  recent  decision  of  the  Holy  See  the  insignia  of  the 
doctorate — i.e.,  the  cap  and  ring — cannot  be  conferred  upon 

•  The  right  of  conferring  the  decree  of  doctor  of  divinity,  with  its  insignia  and 
the  privileges  attached,  is  enjoyed  only  hy  three  institutions  in  the  United  States— 
viz.,  hy  the  Jesnit  colleges  of  Georgetown.  D.  C  ,  and  Spring  Hill  Alahama,  and  h5 
the  Sulpician  Seminary  of  St.  Mary's,  Baltimore. 

54  Sacrea    vestments. 

any  one  who  is  not,  together  with  being  duly  skilled  in  di- 
vinity, also  of  high  standing  in  a  moral  point  of  view,  and 
sound  and  solid  in  the  faith.  To  this  end,  a  profession  of 
faith  (that  of  Pope  Pius  IV.)  is  first  exacted  of  the  candi- 
date on  his  knees,  and  he  must  swear  that  he  will  defend 
this  faith  even  unto  the  shedding  of  his  blood,  if  required. 

Furthermore,  he  is  to  swear  assent  to  the  following  arti* 
cles,  read  to  him  by  the  person  conferring  the  degree  : 

First.  That  he  will  never  teach  or  write  intentionally 
anything  that  is  repugnant  to  Holy  Scripture,  tradition, 
the  definitions  of  General  Councils,  or  to  the  decrees  of 
the  Supreme  Pontiffs. 

Secondly.  That  he  will  be  watchful  in  doing  his  share  to 
preserve  the  unity  of  the  Church,  and  not  let  the  seamless 
garment  of  Christ  be  rent  by  divisions ;  also  that  he  will  be 
studious  in  seeing  due  honor  paid  to  the  Supreme  Pontiff, 
and  obedience  and  reverence  to  his  own  bishop. 

Thirdly.  He  will  swear  to  defend  the  Christian,  Catho- 
lic, and  Apostolic  faith,  to  the  effusion  of  blood. 

After  this  the  various  prerogatives  and  privileges  that  are 
attached  to  the  "D.D."  are  read,  and  the  four-cornered 
cap  and  the  ring  are  imposed.  A  book  is  then  put  into 
his  hands— generally  a  theological  work— as  evidence  of  his 
right  to  the  honors  conferred  upon  him ;  and,  if  the  whole 
ceremony  be  fully  carried  out,  he  is  to  be  led  to  the  doctor's 
chair,  where,  in  pledge  of  brotherly  feeling  towards  him, 
all  the  other  doctors  present  impart  to  him  a  kiss. 

It  is  customary  on  such  occasions  for  the  newly-created 
doctor  to  make  an  address  in  Latin  to  all  the  professors  in 
the  audience,  and  to  express  his  thanks  for  the  elevation  to 
which  he  has  been  raised. 

We  have  said  that  only  cardinals  wear  a  Berretta  of  a  red 
color.  This  privilege  was  first  granted  them  by  Pope  Paul 
II.  in  1460 ;  but  the  privilege  of  wearing  the  red  hat  goes 

2%e  Berretta.  55 

back  to  the  Council  of  Lyons,  A.D.  1245,  where  it  was  grant- 
ed by  Pope  Innocent  IV.  This,  however,  was  only  to  car- 
dinal legates  ;  but  the  privilege  was  extended,  in  short,  to 
all  without  exception,  as  was  also  the  right  to  wear  their 
other  articles  of  dress  of  the  same  color.  The  precise  sym- 
bolism attached  to  the  red  is  that  their  Eminences  must  be 
ready  to  defend  the  rights  of  the  Holy  See  even  unto  the 
shedding  of  blood  (see  Kozma,  p.  72,  note  2). 

The  Pope  never  wears  a  Berretta,  but  uses  instead  a  tight- 
fitting  cap,  always  white  in  color,  called  a  Solideo,  from  the 
Latin  solus  and  Deus,  because  it  is  only  to  God  that  he 
doffs  it — that  is,  at  the  more  solemn  parts  of  the  Mass.  To 
no  earthly  ruler  does  the  Pope  ever  take  off  this  cup.  Its 
material  is  usually  white  silk ;  and  on  its  crown  a  large  but- 
ton is  sewed  to  facilitate  its  being  taken  off  and  put  on. 

We  have  said  that  a  four-cornered  Berretta  is  peculiar  to 
a  doctor  of  divinity.  From  time  immemorial,  however,  the 
clergy  of  France,  Germany,  and  Spain  have  been  accustomed 
to  wear  Berrettas  of  this  kind  (Bouvry,  in  loc.  cit.) 

In  some  of  the  French  universities,  in  days  gone  by,  the 
cap  of  a  doctor  ox  divinity  used  to  be  ornamented  with  a 
white  silk  tassel ;  that  of  a  canonist  with  a  green  one ;  and 
a  doctor's  in  civil  law  (D.C.L.)  with  a  red  one  having  a 
purple  tuft  in  the  middle. 

In  Germany  the  latter  were  allowed  a  scarlet  cap.  In 
the  celebrated  college  of  Salamanca,  in  Spain,  in  addition  to 
the  cap,  which  was  black,  but  decorated  with  a  large  tassel 
of  white  silk,  the  "  Beca"  was  also  conferred,  a  curious  kind 
of  hood  of  red  silk,  which  lay  in  graceful  folds  on  the  shoul- 
ders of  the  wearer  (Rock,  Church  of  Our  Fathers,  p.  70, 
vol.  ii.) 

When  the  Berretta  may  be  worn.-— Besides  being  worn  in 
every-day  life,  the  Berretta  is  also  allowed  to  be  worn  in  the 
sanctuary  during  the  less  solemn  portions  of  the  Mass-     A* 

56  Sacred  Vestments. 

the  altar,  however,  when  in  actual  celebration,  no  one  may 
wear  it,  not  even  the  greatest  dignitary.  The  discipline  in 
this  respect  is  very  strict,  and  admits  of  but  one  exception 
throughout  the  entire  Church — viz.,  in  case  of  the  Catholic 
missionaries  of  the  empire  of  China.  It  is  well  known  how 
indecent  it  is  held  by  the  Chinese  for  a  person  to  appear  m 
public  with  head  uncovered.  A  greater  insult  you  could  not 
offer  one  of  these  people  than  to  violate  this  part  of  etiquette. 
Having  these  things  in  view,  and  remembering  the  salutary 
admonition  of  the  great  Apostle  of  the  Gentiles,  of  becoming 
"  all  to  all  people  in  order  to  gain  all  to  Christ,"  our  Holy 
Father  Pope  Paul  V.,  of  blessed  memory  (1G05-1621),  grant- 
ed to  the  missionaries  of  the  Chinese  Empire  the  privilege 
of  wearing  the  Berretta  all  through  Mass,  even  at  the  Con- 
secration, with  one  proviso,  however — that  the  said  Berret- 
ta be  not  the  one  used  in  every-day  life.  In  no  other  part 
of  the  world  is  this  privilege  enjoyed  (De  Montor,  Lives 
of  the  Popes,  vol.  i.  p.  943). 

Berretta  of  the  Orientals. — The  Oriental  Berretta  differs 
considerably  from  ours  in  shape.  That  of  the  Greeks  is 
round  and  close-fitting,  and  is  generally  of  a  violet  color. 
Attached  to  it  behind  is  an  appendage  shaped  like  a  tri- 
angle, which  the  Greeks  call  nepiGTepct,  peristera,  or  the 
dove,  from  its  resemblance  to  the  tail  of  that  bird.  It  is 
intended  to  remind  the  priest  that  the  grace  of  his  holy 
ministry  depends  on  the  Holy  Ghost,  whom  the  dove  sym- 
bolizes (Goar,  Euehol.  Graze,  157).  Throughout  Russia 
all  the  "  Black  Clergy  "  T  wear  a  high  cap  resembling  a  hat 
without  a  crown,  having  a  veil  covering  it,  which  falls  be- 
hind on  the  shoulders.     This   the   Russians  call  Klobouk, 

'The  division  of  the  Russian  clergy  into  the  "White"  and  "Black  Clergy"  is  not 
from  any  peculiar  distinction  in  dress,  but  only  from  their  different  modes  of  life.  The 
term  Black  is  applied  to  those  who  live  in  monasteries.  All  the  rest  are  denominated 
White,  no  matter  what  the  color  of  their  dress  may  be  (Gagarin,  Human  Clergy,  In- 

The  Zucchetto.  57 

but  its  Greek  name  is  Kamelauchwn  (Mouravieff,  History 
of  the  Russian  Church,  notes,  p.  399). 

The  Greek  bishops,  who  never  wear  a  mitre  like  ours,  use 
a  sort  of  low  hat  without  a  peak,  over  which  a  large  veil 
is  cast,  something  after  the  manner  of  the  original  Koman 
birrus  (Neale,  Holy  Eastern  Church,  i.  314).  They  per- 
form all  the  preliminary  offices  of  the  liturgy  with  this  on 
their  heads. 

The  cap  of  the  schismatical  Patriarch  of  Alexandria  is 
crown-shaped,  and  is  never  removed  at  any  part  of  divme 
service.  This  privilege  is  also  assumed  by  the  Patriarch  of 
the  Nestorians,  who  wears  his  cap  even  while  distributing 
Holy  Communion.  All  the  rest  of  the  Orientals  celebrate 
with  heads  uncovered  like  ourselves  (Goar,  Euchol.,  157  and 
220  ;  Neale,  in  loc.  cit.  ;   Denzinger,  Ritus  Oriental.,  132). 

The  Coptic  Berretfca  differs  hardly  in  anything  from  the 
Greek,  save  that  it  has  its  crown  ornamented  with  a  vari- 
ety of  small  crosses.     The  name  they  call  it  by  is  Cidar. 


The  Zucchetto,  from  the  Italian  zuccha,  a  gourd,  is  a 
small,  closely-fitting  skull-cap,  shaped  like  a  saucer,  and  of 
a  red,  violet,  or  black  color,  according  to  the  rank  of  the 
wearer.  Originally  it  was  introduced  to  protect  that  part 
of  the  head  which  had  been  made  bare  by  the  so-called  cleri- 
cal tonsure,8  but  now  it  is  worn  irrespective  of  the  laws 
which  regulated  this  ancient  discipline. 

•  In  ancient  times  there  were  three  different  forms  of  clerical  tonsure.  1st.  That  of 
St.  Peter,  or  the  Roman,  by  which  the  top  of  the  head  was  cleanly  shaved,  and  the 
base  left  with  an  edging  or  crown  of  hair  to  symbolize  the  Crown  of  Thorns.  2d. 
That  of  St.  Paul,  in  which  the  entire  head  was  shaved,  leaving  no  hair  at  all.  3d.  That 
of  St.  John  the  Evangelist,  in  which  the  front  of  the  head  was  shaved  so  as  to  resembla 
a  crescent,  and  the  hair  allowed  to  fall  down  upon  the  back.  This  last  was  the  form  m 
use  with  the  Irish  and  Britons  up  to  the  time  of  Colman,  Bishop  of  Lindisfarne,  a.d. 

58  &*&ea   Vestments. 

When  the  Zucchetto  may  be  worn. — As  the  Zucchetto  is 
not  exactly  considered  a  cap,  it  has  privileges  which  the  ber- 
retta  never  enjoys,  for  it  can  be  worn  upon  occasions  when  the 
use  of  the  latter  would  be  wholly  forbidden.  Permission  is 
often  granted  to  wear  it  in  the  very  act  of  celebrating,  during 
the  less  solemn  portions  of  the  Mass — i.e.,  from  the  begin- 
ning to  the  Preface,  exclusive,  and  from  the  end  of  Com- 
munion to  the  completion  of  service.  It  must  never  be 
worn  during  the  Canon,  and  permission  to  wear  it  at  the 
times  named  must  be  had  direct  from  the  Pope.  In  case 
the  celebrant  should  have  permission  to  wear  a  wig  he  is 
never  bound  to  remove  it,  for  it  ranks  neither  as  a  Berretta 
nor  Zucchetto,  but  is  rather  esteemed  as  one's  own  hair. 
Permission  to  wear  it,  however,  is  very  rarely  granted  by  the 
Holy  See. 

Color  of  the  Zucchetto. — We  have  said  that  the  color  of 
the  Zucchetto  varies  with  the  rank  of  the  wearer.  That 
worn  by  cardinals  is  always  red;  patriarchs,  archbishops, 
and  bishops  wear  a  violet-colored  one  ;  for  all  the  rest  of  the 
clergy  the  color  is  black.  The  privilege  of  wearing  a  vio- 
let Zucchetto  was  not  enjoyed  by  bishops  until  June,  1867, 
when  the  concession  was  made  by  his  Holiness  Pope  Pius 
IX.  This  concession,  however,  concerned  but  the  Zucchet- 
to, not  the  Berretta.  The  latter  must  be  of  the  same  color 
as  that  of  a  priest — viz.,  Mack  (Martinucci,  Manuale  Cce- 
rem.,  v.  14). 

The  Zucchetto  is    indifferently    known   by  the  several 

661,  when  the  Roman  form  was  adopted  in  its  stead  (Alzog's  Church  Hist.,  vol.  ii.  p.  88, 
note  3,  and  p.  91,  hy  Pabisch  and  Byrne). 

According  to  the  Roman  Pontifical,  the  bishop,  when  conferring  tonsure,  cuts  off 
with  scissors  five  locks  of  hair  from  the  head  of  the  candidate  for  orders ;  the  first, 
over  the  forehead  ;  the  second,  at  the  back  of  the  head  ;  the  third,  at  the  right  ear  ;  the 
fourth,  at  the  left  ear  ;  and  the  fifth,  on  the  crown  of  the  head.  In  no  case  is  the  hair 
cut  so  deep  that  the  head  is  exposed.  This  is  what  constitutes  the  clerical  tonsure,  the 
initiative  step  to  Sacred  Orders,  and  that  which  raises  a  layman  to  the  rank  and  im- 
munities of  an  ecclesiastic. 

The  Collar.  59 

names  Calotte,  Pileolus,  Berrettino,  and  Suomitrale.  It  is 
called  Calotte  in  French,  from  its  resemblance  to  a  shell; 
Pileolus  is  the  Latin  diminutive  of  pileus,  a  Koman  cap  ; 
Berrettino  is  a  diminutive  of  Berretta ;  and  it  received  its 
name  Submitrale  from  the  fact  that  it  used  to  be  generally 
worn  under  the  bishop's  mitre.  In  common  parlance  it 
is  always  spoken  of  as  the  Calotte  or  Zucchetto. 


The  clerical  Collar,  generally  styled  the  Roman  Collar, 
and  in  French  Rabat,  was  unknown  as  an  article  of  eccle- 
siastical attire,  at  least  in  its  present  form,  prior  to  the 
sixteenth  century.  The  religious  orders  have,  as  a  rule, 
never  adopted  it  generally ;  nor  is  it  worn  in  the  United 
States  to  any  great  extent,  unless  in  a  few  dioceses  where 
the  statutes  insist  upon  it  as  being  the  distinctive  mark 
of  a  Catholic  clergyman.  Where  it  can  be  worn  without 
exciting  too  much  attention,  or,  as  often  happens  in  non- 
Catholic  countries,  exposing  a  priest  to  public  insult,  it 
ought  to  be ;  for  it  is  wonderful,  to  pass  over  many  other 
reasons,  how  much  Catholics  are  comforted  by  seeing  in 
their  company,  if  travelling  abroad,  or  even  walking  the 
street,  if  at  home,  a  priest  arrayed  in  this  distinctive 
habiliment.  There  is  no  mistaking  him  then  for  a  min- 
ister of  one  of  the  sects. 

Before  the .  introduction  of  the  Eoman  Collar  the  arti- 
cle generally  used  was  nothing  else  but  a  plain  linen 
collar  similar  to  those  ordinarily  used  now  by  lay  people, 
only  a  little  wider.  Some  of  the  higher  dignitaries  wore 
frills,  such  as  we  see  in  paintings  of  the  fourteenth  and 
fifteenth  centuries  ;  but  these  were  forbidden  to  the  in- 
ferior clergy,  who  were  required  to  wear  their  Collars  as 
plain  as  possible,  without  even  starch  to  stiffen  them,  or 
plaits  to  adorn  them  in  any  way.     In  France,  Belgium,  and 

60  Sacred  Vestments. 

Italy  laws  were  enacted  prohibiting  lace  or  fancy  needle- 
work to  be  used  in  making  them  up,  for  they  were  required 
to  be  of  the  plainest  linen  (Church  of  Our  Fathers,  vol.  i. 
p.  474). 

According  to  its  present  disposition,  the  Collar  itself 
is  a  slip  of  thin  linen  about  two  inches  wide,  and  Ions? 
enough  to  encircle  the  neck  of  the  wearer.  This  slip  is 
folded  down  over  a  circular  band  or  stock  of  some  pliant 
but  tolerably  stiff  material,  such  as  fuller's  board,  to  which 
is  sewed  a  piece  of  cloth,  generally  large  enough  to  cover 
the  chest.  The  Collar  is  kept  in  its  place  by  being  buttoned 
behind  or  fastened  to  the  neck  by  strings. 

The  Collar,  like  the  other  articles  of  clerical  attire  men- 
tioned, varies  in  color  with  the  dignity  of  the  wearer.  That 
of  a  cardinal  is  red;  a  bishop's,  violet;  a  monsignore's,  also 
violet ;  and  a  priest's,  black.  Canons,  for  the  most  part, 
wear  one  of  Hack,  with  red  buttons  down  the  centre,  and 
red  trimmings. 

Prothonotaries  apostolic,  of  the  class  known  as  the  partici- 
pantes,  who  always  rank  as  prelates,  have  the  privilege  of 
wearing  a  violet  Collar  like  a  bishop  ;  but  not  so  those  who 
rank  only  as  prothonotaries  titular es,  or  honorary  prothono- 
taries ;  theirs  is  black  like  a  priest's  (Manuale  Decretorum 
de  Proton.  ApZste.,  753  and  759). 


The  Cassock,  called  in  French  Cosaque,  but  more  com- 
monly Soutane,  is  that  long  outer  black  garment  worn  by 
priests  in  every-day  life  and  at  all  the  sacred  functions.  It 
is  called  in  Latin  Vestis  talaris,  from  its  reaching  down  to 
the  feet.  With  many  of  the  religious  orders  it  is  called 
the  habit,  and  instead  of  being  buttoned  in  front,  as  is  the 
case  generally  with  the  secular  clergy,  it  is  fastened  to  the 
person  by  a  large  cincture. 

The  Cassock.  $\ 

In  ancient  times  the  Cassock  used  to  be  known  as  the 
Pellicea,  or  Pelisse,  partly  from  the  fact  that  it  used  to  be 
made  of  the  skins  of  animals,  and  partly  also  because  in 
most  cases  it  used  to  be  lined  with  fur.  Hence  the  origin 
of  the  word  surplice — something  worn  oyer  the  Peliss* 
(Kozma,  49). 

Color  of  the  Cassock. — The  color  of  the  Cassock  varies 
with  the  rank  of  the  person  and  the  religious  order  to 
which  he  belongs.  Cardinals  wear  one  of  red  generally, 
but  during  seasons  of  penance  and  mourning  the  color  is 
violet.  The  color  of  a  bishop's  Cassock  is  violet,  but  on 
the  occasions  mentioned  violet  is  changed  for  black.  With 
priests  who  are  not  members  of  any  particular  order 
black  is  the  color  always. 

The  Camaldolese/  Cistercians,10  Carthusians,11  and  Domi- 
nicans 12  wear  white  Cassocks.  The  Silvestrians  13  wear  one 
of  dark  blue  ;  the  Third  Order  of  Franciscans,14  the  Minor 
Conventuals,16  and  Minor  Observants  16  wear  an  ash-colored 
one  ;  the  Jeromites 17  gray.  When  a  member  from  any  of 
these  orders  is  promoted  to  the  cardinalate  he  retains  the 
color  peculiar  to  his  order,  as  far  as  the  Cassock  is  concern- 
ed, but  the  berretta,  zucchetto,  and  hat  must  be  always 
scarlet  (Martinucci,  Manuale  Ccerem.,  vi.  505). 

The  privilege  of  wearing  a  scarlet-colored  Cassock  was 
granted  to  the  doctors  in  theology  and  canon  law  of  the 
University  of  Paris  by  Pope  Benedict  XII.  The  same 
pontiff  is  supposed  to  have  extended  the  like  privilege  to 

»  The  Camaldolese,  founded  by  St.  Eomuald  in  the  early  part  of  the  eleventh  ceD 
tury.  So  called  from  Maldoli,  the  name  of  the  person  who  bestowed  the  ground  upo?.' 
them  in  the  Apennines  in  the  eleventh  century.  10  So  called  from  Cisterze,  diocese  of 
Chalons  ;  founded  by  St.  Robert,  Abbot  of  Moh  sme,  in  1098.  "  So  called  from  Char- 
treuse,  in  France  ;  founded  by  St.  Bruno  in  1 484.  12  Founded  by  St.  Dominic,  « 
Spaniard,  in  1215 ;  called  also  Preaching  Friar  .  13  Called  Silvestrians  from  tbeU 
founder,  Silvester  Gozzolino,  1230.  14  The  Thin  Order  of  Franciscans,  or  Terharia^ 
was  founded  in  1221.  16  A  branch  of  the  Frai  iscans,  established  soon  after  13091 
M  A  branch  of  the  Franciscans,  established  soon  \fter  1302.  1T  Founded  in  thw  Jour 
teenth  century  by  a  number  of  solitaries. 

6fc  Sacred  Vestments, 

Oxford  (Church  of  Our  Fathers,  ii.  19,  note  47).  The 
Cassocks  worn  by  the  students  of  many  of  the  European 
colleges  have  large  pendants  behind  like  wings.  These  com- 
memorate a  fashion  once  very  prevalent  in  Borne,  where 
tutors,  in  accompanying  their  pupils  to  school,  held  these 
pendants  in  their  hands  as  evidence  of  their  watchfulness 
over  them. 

Color  of  the  Pope's  Cassock. — In  every-day  life,  and  on  all 
solemn  occasions,  the  Pope  wears  a  Cassock  of  white  silk 
(Kozma,  Lit.  Sacra  Caihol.,  72).  This  custom,  it  is  said, 
dates  from  apostolic  times,  St.  James  the  Less,  first  Bishop 
of  Jerusalem,  being  its  introducer.  As  his  life  states,  this 
Apostle  always  appeared  in  fine  white  linen  garments.  St. 
Cyril  assures  us  that  the  Patriarch  of  Jerusalem  always  ap- 
peared in  white  ;  and  it  is  also  said  that  St.  Peter  used  to  wear 
garments  of  this  color,  in  memory  of  the  shining  garments 
in  which  our  Divine  Lord  appeared  to  him  on  the  occa- 
sion of  the  Transfiguration  on  Thabor  (see  Metropolitan, 
"  Letters  from  Abroad,"  January,  1855). 

All  the  popes  of  primitive  times,  as  we  see  from  ancient 
mosaics,  were  vested  in  white ;  so  it  may  be  very  lawfully 
conjectured  that  the  custom  is  as  ancient  as  we  have  stated 
it  to  be. 


The  Church  employs  at  the  present  day  five  different 
colors  in  her  sacred  vestments — viz.,  white,  red,  green,  violet, 
and  Hack.  Up  to  the  sixth  century  she  rarely  used  any 
color  but  white  (Kozma,  73)  ;  and  in  the  time  of  Pope 
Innocent  III.  (thirteenth  century)  there  was  no  such  color 
in  use  as  violet,  for  that  pontiff  makes  no  mention  of  this 
color  when  he  names  the  four  employed  in  his  day  {Be  Sacr. 
Altar  is  Myster.,  p.  86).  That  violet,  however,  was  intro- 
duced soon  after  this  pontiff's  book  appeared,  is  evident  from 

Colors  of  the   Vestments,  63 

Durandus,  who  flourished  about  the  year  1280  (Pope  Inno- 
cent IIL  died  in  1 215),  for  in  his  great  work,  entitled  Ra- 
tionale Divinorum,  violet  is  specially  mentioned. 

White,  being  symbolic  of  purity,  innocence,  and  glory,  is, 
as  a  general  rule,  employed  on  the  special  feasts  of  our  Lord 
and  the  Blessed  Virgin,  and  on  those  of  the  angels,  virgins, 
and  confessors. 

Red,  the  symbol  of  fortitude,  is  the  color  proper  to  Pen- 
tecost, in  memory  of  the  "tongues  of  fire  "  ;  it  is  also  used 
on  the  feasts  of  the  apostles  and  martyrs,  and  on  those  of 
our  Lord's  Passion. 

Green,  symbolic  of  hope,  is  used  as  the  color  of  the  time 
from  the  octave  of  the  Epiphany  to  Septuagesima,  and  from 
the  octave  of  Pentecost  to  Advent. 

Violet,  the  penitential  color,  is  used  on  all  occasions  of 
public  affliction  and  sorrow,  in  times  of  fasting  and  penance, 
and  in  all  those  processions  which  do  not  immediately  con- 
cern the  Blessed  Sacrament.  This  color  is  also  used  on  the 
Feast  of  the  Holy  Innocents,  on  account  of  the  lamentations 
and  weepings  heard  through  Jerusalem  when  they  were  mas- 
sacred by  order  of  Herod.  But  should  this  feast  fall  on 
Sunday,  the  color  of  the  occasion  is  red,  as  is  also  the  color 
of  the  octave,  from  the  fact  that  the  lamentations  taken  up 
are  supposed  to  have  ceased  by  this  time,  and  the  eighth 
day  is  always  significant  of  beatitude  and  glory  (De  Herdt, 
Sacr.  Liturg.  Praxis,  i,  p.  190;  Bouvry,  Expos.  Ruhr.,  ii. 

Black,  from  its  gloomy  appearance,  and  because  it  is  the 
negation  of  all  color,  is  used  in  Masses  and  Offices  of  the 
Dead,  and  on  Good  Friday  in  memory  of  the  profound  dark- 
ness that  covered  the  land  when  our  Lord  was  crucified. 

In  ancient  times  it  was  customary  with  many  churches  to 
wear  saffron-colored  vestments  on  this  latter  day,  to  recall 
to  mind  the  bitter  vindictiveness  of  the  Jews  in  putting  our 

64  Sacred  Vestments, 

Saviour  to  death,  saffron  being  indicative  of  bile.  Writing 
upon  this,  Bellotte  thus  remarks  :  "  Croceo  namque  seu  ilavo 
colori  bills  assimilatur,  cujus  sedes  et  imperium  in  praecor- 
diis  et  visceribus  Judaeorum  nedum  iram  sed  et  irae  f  urorem 
provocavit  adversus  Dominum  et  adversus  Christum  ejus  " 
{Church  of  Our  Fathers,  ii.  263).  For  this  same  reason  it 
was  that  the  traitor  Judas,  in  all  mediaeval  paintings,  is  de- 
picted with  hair  a  shade  of  color  between  red  and  yellow. 
The  Jews  themselves  were  obliged,  up  to  a  recent  date,  to 
wear  in  many  countries  a  yellow  badge,so  that  all  might  know 
them  from  the  rest  of  the  people  (ibid.) 

Local  Customs  and  Privileges. — In  France  red  used  to  be 
used  on  feasts  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament  instead  of  white. 
In  Spain  the  rare  privilege  of  using  sky-blue  vestments  on 
feasts  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  has  been  enjoyed  for  some  time 
past.  Some,  however,  restrict  this  privilege  to  the  Feast  of 
the  Immaculate  Conception  ;  but  we  have  not  been  able  to 
learn  whether  it  is  so  restricted  or  not.  A  set  purchased 
for  this  occasion  in  1843  cost  the  enormous  sum  of  $14,000 
(Dublin  Revieiv,  1845,  article  Spain,  vol.  xviii.  ;  Church 
of  Our  Fathers,  ii.  259,  note  32).  That  blue-colored  vest- 
ments were  once  common  in  England,  we  have  the  most  un- 
deniable proofs.  In  Dugdale's  history  of  St.  Paul's,"  Lon* 
don,  we  find  enumerated  among  that  cathedral's  goods  in 
1295  several  vestments  of  a  blue  color  ;  and  in  an  inventory 

18  St.  Paul's  Church,  London,  was  at  one  time  one  of  the  most  venerable  churches  in 
existence.  The  cathedral  known  as  "Old  St.  Paul's "  dates  from  the  time  of  Bishop 
Maurice,  a.d.  1080.  This  wonderful  edifice  was  nearly  six  hundred  feet  in  length,  and 
the  summit  of  the  spire  rose  to  within  a  short  distance  of  five  hundred  feet  from  the 
ground.  It  was  made  of  wood  covered  with  lead,  and  had  relics  placed  in  the  ball 
beneath  the  cross.  On  Candlemas  eve,  1444,  the  spire  was  struck  by  lightning  and 
partly  destroyed.  One  of  the  greatest  treasures  and  curiosities  that  this  church  pos- 
sessed for  some  time  was  a  relic  of  the  Holy  Blood,  sent  from  Jerusalem  to  King 
Henry  III.  by  the  Knights  of  St.  John  and  those  of  the  Order  of  Templars.  This  pre- 
cious gift  was  afterwards  conveyed  to  Westminster  Abbey,  where  an  indulgence  of  six 
years  and  one  hundred  days  was  granted  all  who  visited  it  with  the  proper  dispositiong 
{Ecclesiastical  Antiquities  of  London,  by  Alex.  Wood,  M.A.) 

Colors  of  the  Vestments.  65 

of  the  Church  of  Lincoln  there  is  mentioned  "  a  chesable 
of  blew  damask,  a  cope  of  the  same  color,  a  cope  of  cloth  of 
gold,  a  bawdkin  of  blew  color"  {Church  of  Our  Fathers,  ii. 
260,  note  33).  Bishop  Wykeham  bequeathed  to  his  church 
at  Windsor  "  his  new  vestment  of  blue  cloth,  striped  and 
embroidered  with  lions  of  gold  "  {ibid.) 

According  to  the  Sarum  Rite,  there  was  no  other  color 
used  through  Lent  but  red.  The  great  minster  of  Peter- 
borough had  twenty-seven  "  red  albs  "  for  Passion  Week. 
The  Ambrosian  Rite  also  prescribed  red  for  the  same  season, 
and  so  did  many  churches  of  France  {ibid.) 

On  the  third  Sunday  of  Advent  and  the  fourth  Sunday 
of  Lent,  called  respectively  "  Gaudete  "  and  "  Lsetare"  Sun- 
days,19 from  the  Introits  on  these  days  beginning  with  those 
words,  cardinals  wear,  instead  of  their  usual  color,  that  of 
pale  rose  ;  and  this  is  required  to  be  the  color  also  of 
their  out-door  dress  on  these  occasions  (Martinucci,  vi. 

From  an  ancient  Irish  book  called  the  Leabhar  Breac, 
supposed  to  be  written  about  the  sixth  century,  the  follow- 
ing curious  extract  is  given  by  Dr.  Moran,  now  Bishop  of 
Ossory,  in  his  Discipline  of  the  Early  Irish  Church.  It 
relates  to  the  colors  of  the  sacred  vestments  : 

"  The  priest's  mind  should  agree  with  the  variety  and 
meaning  of  each  distinct  color,  and  should  be  filled  with 

"  The  fourth  Sunday  of  Lent  is  what  is  known  as  the  "  Sunday  of  the  Golden  Rose," 
from  a  custom  observed  at  Rome  of  blessing  a  rose  made  of  pure  gold  mixed  with  musk 
and  balsam.  The  ceremony  is  performed  by  the  Pope  himself,  and  the  rose  thus 
blessed  is  carried  in  solemn  procession  in  the  hand  of  the  pontiff  to  and  from  his 
chapel  on  this  Sunday.  The  rose,  symbolic  of  the  eternal  bloom  and  freshness  of 
Paradise,  is  afterwards  bestowed  as  a  mark  of  special  favor  on  some  great  potentate 
who  has  done  service  to  the  Holy  See  Pope  Pius  IX.  sent  a  Golden  Rose  to  Maria 
Theresa,  Queen  of  Naples,  for  the  kindness  extended  him  by  her  and  her  husband 
when  he  was  obliged  to  flee  to  Gaeta  in  1848.  He  sent  one  also  to  the  Empress 
Eugenie,  wife  of  Napoleon  III.,  and  to  Elizabeth,  Empress  of  Austria  (Kozma,  330 1 
Sacramentals,  by  Rev.  W,  J.  Barry,  p.  110). 

66  Sacred  Vestments. 

vigilance  and  awe,  and  be  withdrawn  from  ambition  and 
pride,  when  he  reflects  on  what  the  various  colors  typify. 

"  The  white  typifies  that  he  should  be  filled  with  confusion 
and  shame  if  his  heart  be  not  chaste  and  shining,  and  his 
mind  like  the  foam  of  the  wave,  or  like  the  chalk  on  the 
gable  of  an  oratory,  or  like  the  color  of  the  swan  in  the 
sunshine — that  is,  without  any  particle  of  sin,  great  or 
small,  resting  in  it. 

"  The  red  typifies  that  his  heart  should  start  and  tremble 
in  his  breast  through  terror  and  fear  of  the  Son  of  God, 
for  the  scars  and  wounds  of  the  Son  of  God  were  red  upon 
the  cross  when   he  was  crucified  by  the  unbelieving  Jews. 

"  The  green  typifies  that  he  should  be  filled  with  great 
faintness  and  distress  of  mind  and  heart ;  for  what  is  under- 
stood by  it  is  his  interment  at  the  end  of  his  life,  under  the 
mould  of  the  earth,  for  green  is  the  original  color  of  all 
the  earth. 

"  The  purple  typifies  that  he  should  call  to  mind  Jesus, 
who  is  in  heaven  in  the  plenitude  of  his  glory  and  majesty, 
and  with  the  nine  orders  of  angels  who  praise  the  Creator 
throughout  all  eternity. 

"  The  Hack  typifies  that  he  should  shed  bitter  tears  for 
his  sins,  lest  he  be  condemned  to  the  society  of  the  devil 
and  dwell  perpetually  in  endless  pain." 

From  all  this  we  clearly  see  that  even  so  far  back  as  the 
sixth  century  some  churches  had  all  the  colors  in  use  that 
we  have  now. 

We  conclude  our  remarks  on  sacred  vestments  by  saying 
that  those  made  of  pure  cloth  of  gold  are  tolerated  at  the 
present  day,  and  may  be  used  instead  of  red,  white,  or 
green  (S.  R.  C,  28th  April,  1866,  3644  [2]).  Those  of  any 
other  material  of  a  yellow  color  are  wholly  interdicted,  and 
cannot  be  used  without  permission  of  the  Holy  See. 

Colors  used  by  the  Oriental  Church.— The  Greek  Church 

Colors  of  the  Vestments.  67 

uses  but  two  colors  the  whole  year  round — viz.,  white  and 
red,  in  memory  of  what  the  Spouse  says  in  the  Canticle  of 
Canticles  :  "My  beloved  is  white  and  ruddy."  White  is 
their  general  color ;  red  is  used  in  all  Masses  for  the  dead 
and  throughout  the  entire  fast  of  Lent.  According  to  the 
Greeks  this  latter  color  is  better  suited  to  Lent  than  any 
other,  for  during  that  season  we  are  doing  penance  for  the 
shedding  of  the  innocent  blood  of  our  Divine  Kedeemer 
(Goar,  Euchol.  Gr decorum,  113). 

Eenaudot  tells  us  in  his  Commentary  on  the  Liturgy  of 
St.  Basil,  p.  160,  that  the  Copts  use  no  other  color  in  their 
sacred  vestments  but  white,  and  this  for  the  reason  that  at 
his  glorious  transfiguration  on  Mt.  Thabor  it  was  in  this 
brilliant  color  that  our  Lord  appeared.  One  of  the  Coptic 
canons  on  this  head  reads  as  follows  :  "The  vestments  used 
for  saying  Mass  ought  to  be  of  a  white  color,  not  of  any 
other  ;  for  Christ  when  transfigured  had  vestments  on 
brilliant  as  light  "  (ibid. )  If  we  are  to  credit  the  reports  of 
tourists  to  those  regions,  the  Copts  of  to-day  pay  little 
regard  to  this  canon,  for  vestments  of  every  hue  may  be 
seen  in  use  among  them. 

The  Maronites  use  the  same  colors  as  we  do. 

The  Syrians  are  partial  to  purple  and  green,  and  hence 
n  happens  not  unfrequently  that  their  chasubles  unite 
these  colors  at  one  and  the  same  time  (Denzinger,  131). 

The  Armenians  allow  their  lectors  to  wear  a  cope  of 
purple  silk  similar  to  our  pluvial.  Their  exorcists  wear  one 
of  hyacinth  ;  their  acolytes  of  red  {ibid.  133). 

According  to  Badger  (The  Nestorians  and  their  Rituals, 
i.  p.  226),  the  vestments  of  the  Nestorians  are  white  ;  still, 
the  same  author  tells  us  that  their  girdle  and  stole  consist 
of  a  narrow  band  or  scarf,  with  alternate  white  and  blue 
crosses  worked  on  squares  of  the  same  colors. 

Having  now  said  all  that  to  our  mind  it  seemed  necessary 

68  Sacred  Vestments, 

to  say  about  the  sacred  vestments  and  their  colors,  we  pass 
on  to  another  class  of  sacred  appurtenances,  called  the 
vessels  of  the  altar. 

It  may  be  well  to  remark  here — we  intended  doing  so 
earlier,  but  forgot  it — that  inasmuch  as  our  book  is  not  a 
Ceremonial,  the  reader  must  not  expect  to  find  in  it  all  those 
little  points  and  exceptions  to  rules  which  only  a  Ceremonial 
would  comprehend.  The  main  things  are  given ;  and,  wher- 
ever we  have  thought  it  necessary  for  the  reader's  interest, 
we  have  descended  to  many  minute  particulars,  for  nothing 
is  unimportant  that  directly  concerns  the  Mass.  We  make 
this  apology  in  order  not  to  be  misunderstood. 


The  sacred  vessels  employed  at  the  altar  in  the  service  of 
the  Blessed  Sacrament  are  five  in  number — viz.,  Chalice, 
Paten,  Ciborium,  Monstrance,  and  Lunette. 


The  Chalice  is  the  large  Eucharistic  cup  in  which  the 
wine  for  consecration  is  placed.  Regarding  its  shape,  no 
precise  rules  are  laid  down,  but  custom  would  have  it  some- 
what resemble  the  open  calyx  of  a  lily.  In  ancient  times  it 
was  formed  so  as  to  resemble  an  apple,  and  this  with  a  view 
to  remind  us  that  it  is  through  the  merits  of  Christ's  Pre- 
cious Blood,  which  the  Chalice  contains,  that  the  sin  o* 
Adam,  in  eating  the  forbidden  fruit,  was  atoned  for. 

Many  liturgical  writers  tell  us  that  the  Chalice  which  our 
Divine  Lord  used  at  the  Last  Supper  was  made  after  the 
manner  of  the  Roman  cantharus,  or  mug — that  is,  with  a 
handle  on  each  side  by  which  to  lift  it ;  and  that  its  capa- 
city was  a  sextary,  or  about  a  pint  and  a  half  (Bona,  Rer. 
Liturg.,  290  ;  see  also  the  Revelations  of  Anne  Catherine 
Emmerich).  According  to  the  testimony  of  Bede,  quoted 
by  Baronius  (Anno  34,  No.  63),  this  Chalice  was  made  of 
silver,  and  was  preserved  for  a  long  time  at  Jerusalem,  where 
the  people  used  to  offer  it  much  veneration.  All  this,  how- 
ever, or  at  least  the  main  part  of  it,  is  contradicted  by  the 
gravest  liturgical  writers,  and  verv  justly ;    for  it  is  now 

70  Sacred  Vessels. 

pretty  well  known  that  the  Bede  who  fabricated  the  story 
was  not  the  Anglican  Bede  called  the  Venerable,  but  a  cer- 
tain person  of  the  name  of  Adamnamus  Scotus,  whose  re- 
putation for  telling  the  truth  did  not  stand  very  high  (Koz- 
ma,  Liturg.  Sacr.  Gathol.,  p.  82,  note). 

The  great  majority  are  in  favor  of  saying  that  the  Chalice 
our  Lord  used  was  made  of  agate,  and  that  by  some  means 
or  other  it  came  into  the  possession  of  the  people  of  Valen- 
tia,  who  now  preserve  ii;  with  jealous  care  (Gavantus,  The- 
saur.  Sacr.  Bit.,  p.  124). 

Material  of  which  the  Chalice  is  made. — According  to  the 
present  discipline  of  the  Church,  it  is  required  that  the 
Chalice  be  made  of  gold  or  silver,  or  at  least  that  the  cup  be 
such.  The  privilege  of  using  a  Chalice  of  pewter  is,  how- 
ever, sometimes  granted  to  very  poor  churches,  but  always 
on  condition  that  at  least  the  inside  of  the  cup  be  gilt. 
The  stem  or  leg  of  the  Chalice  may  be  of  any  solid  material 
whatever,  provided  it  be  decent  and  not  easily  broken. 
Chalices  of  brass,  glass,  or  wood  are  wholly  forbidden — of 
brass,  on  account  of  its  liability  to  rust ;  of  glass,  on  account 
of  its  brittleness  ;  and  of  wood,  on  account  of  its  great  po- 
rosity. There  is  no  doubt,  however,  but  that  in  the  very 
early  days  of  Christianity,  especially  during  the  times  of  per- 
secution, Chalices  were  often  made  of  other  materials  be- 
sides gold  and  silver.  In  the  Catacombs1  many  Chalices  of 
glass  have  been  found  (Roman  Catacombs,  passim,  by  North- 
cote),  and  the  most  reliable  testimony  is  given  that  such 
were  often  used  in  the  celebration  of  Mass.  Pope  Gregory 
the  Great,  for  instance,  informs  us  that  St.  Donat,  Bishop 
of  Arezzo,  used  a  Chalice  of  this  material,  and  that  when 

1  The  term  catacomb,  from  the  Greek  Kara,  beneath,  and  <u/u./3o?,  a  hollow  or  crypt, 
Is  applied  to  those  subterranean  vaults  that  are  situated  under  the  city  of  Rome,  to 
which  the  Christians  used  to  flee  for  shelter  in  the  days  of  persecution,  and  where  they 
buried  their  dead  and  celebrated  Mass. 

The  Chalice.  71 

the  same  was  broken  by  the  pagans  the  holy  man  had  it 
miraculously  restored  to  its  original  form  through  means 
of  earnest  prayer  (lib.  i.  Dial.  cap.  vii.) 

St.  Caesar,  Bishop  of  Aries,  in  France,  used  a  glass 
Chalice  frequently.  And  St.  Gregory  of  Tours  tells  us 
of  one  that  he  himself  used,  and  how  when  it  was  broken 
by  accident  he  had  it  restored  through  the  intercession  of 
St.  Lawrence  (Bona,  290).  It  must  be  observed,  however, 
that  the  use  of  glass  Chalices  was  never  general  in  the 
Church,  and  that  whenever  they  were  used  at  all  it  was 
from  pressing  necessity. 

Chalices  of  Wood. — Sometimes,  too,  in  difficult  circum- 
stances, Chalices  of  wood  were  used.  An  amusing  saying 
upon  this  head  is  recorded  of  St.  Boniface.  Havmg  been 
asked  in  the  Council  of  Triers  what  he  thought  of  the  prac- 
tice of  saying  Mass  in  wooden  Chalices,  he  replied  as  fol- 
lows :  "  In  ancient  times  golden  priests  said  Mass  in  wooden 
Chalices,  but  now  wooden  priests  say  Mass  in  golden  Chal- 
ices" (Bona,  ibid.)  The  canons  of  King  Edgar  of  Eng- 
land (tenth  century)  wholly  interdicted  Chalices  of  wood 

That  Chalices  of  stone  and  marble  were  used  at  one 
time,  at  least  on  some  pressing  occasions,  we  see  from  the 
life  of  St.  Theodore,  Archimandrite,2  commonly  known 
as  "  Theodore  of  the  Studium,"  from  the  great  abbey  of 
that  name  at  Constantinople,  where  it  is  said  that,  when 
this  holy  man  had  enlarged  his  monastery,  he  changed  his 
sacred  vessels  of  marble  for  those  of  silver  (Bona,  ibid.;  see 
also  the  saint's  life). 

2  In  the  Oriental  Church  the  term  Archimandrite  is  applied  to  all  those  abbots  who 
have  jurisdiction  over  several  monasteries.  It  is  said  to  be  derived  from  the  Greek 
apxo?,  a  chief,  and  fidvSpa,  a  monastery.  A  head  of  a  single  monastery  is  styled 
Heavmenot  but  not  exclusively,  for  the  term  is  often  applied  to  other  ecclesiastics  also. 
In  the  Latin  Church  the  superior  of  the  great  monastery  of  Messina  is  styled  Archi' 

72  Sacred  Vessels. 

It  was  customary,  too,  in  some  churches  to  use  Chalices 
of  precious  stones — of  onyx,  sardonyx,  chrysolite,  etc. — also 
of  horn  and  ivory.  Among  the  ornaments  donated  by  Pope 
Victor  III.  (eleventh  century)  to  the  famous  monastery  of 
Monte  Casino,  two  Chalices  of  onyx  are  enumerated  {ibid. ) 
We  find  Chalices  of  horn  prohibited  as  early  as  the  eighth 
century  in  the  Synod  of  Calcuith,  in  England  {ibid.)  In 
813  the  Council  of  Hheims  decreed  that  both  the  Chalice 
and  Paten  should  be  of  gold,  or  at  least  of  silver.  In  case 
of  great  poverty  it  allowed  a  Chalice  of  pewter.  It  strictly 
forbade,  however,  no  matter  what  the  necessity,  to  conse- 
crate in  one  made  of  wood  or  glass  (Kozma,  83,  note). 

Ornamentation  of  Chalices. — From  the  great  respect  that 
the  Christians  of  early  times  manifested  for  anything  con- 
cerning our  Divine  Lord  much  care  used  to  be  bestowed 
and  much  artistic  skill  displayed  in  the  ornamentation  of 
Chalices.  The  devices  were,  as  a  rule,  taken  from  some  in- 
cident connected  with  our  Saviour's  life  upon  earth,  such  as 
the  raising  of  Lazarus  from  the  dead  ;  changing  the  water 
into  wine  at  Cana  ;  multiplying  the  loaves  ;  bringing  back 
the  "lost  sheep  ";  healing  the  sick  or  consoling  the  afflicted. 

The  bottom  of  a  glass  Chalice  found  in  the  Catacombs, 
and  mentioned  by  Father  Northcote  in  his  work  on  the  Bo- 
man  Catacombs,  represents  four  different  scenes  taken  from 
Scripture  :  first,  Tobias  and  the  fish ;  second,  our  Lord 
healing  the  paralytic  ;  third,  the  children  in  the  fiery  fur- 
nace ;  fourth,  the  changing  of  water  into  wine  at  Cana. 
Another,  taken  from  the  same  work,  has  enamelled  figures  of 
the  Blessed  Virgin  and  of  the  Apostles  SS.  Peter  and  Paul. 

Ministerial  Chalices. — Whilst  the  discipline  of  communi- 
cating the  laity  under  both  species  prevailed,*  Chalices  called 

'  It  prevailed  up  to  the  twelfth  century,  with  few  exceptions.  It  was  wholly  abro- 
gated by  the  Council  of  Constance  in  1414,  and  this,  among  other  reasons,  to  confound 
the  teaching  of  John  Huss  and  his  party. 

goicu  uy  1,11c  vuuuuu  ui  V/UUBLaiiue  m  itl 

tbe  teaching  of  John  Huss  and  his  party. 

The  Chalice.  73 

Ministerial  used  to  be  employed  for  dispensing  the  Pre- 
cious Blood  to  the  communicants.  The  deacon,  as  a  rule, 
had  charge  of  these,  and  it  was  upon  him  that  the  duty  de- 
volved of  communicating  the  people  from  them.  The  Chal- 
ice used  by  the  priest  was  then  known  as  the  Offertorial 
Chalice,  and  was  reserved  for  himself  and  the  sacred  min- 
isters who  assisted  him.  As  all  the  other  Chalices  obtained 
their  supply  from  this,  it  used  to  be,  in  days  gone  by,  of  con- 
siderable proportions.  It  was  customary,  however,  when 
the  number  of  communicants  was  very  great,  to  use  large 
ministerial  Chalices,  and  mingle  with  the  Precious  Blood 
they  contained  ordinary  wine  in  small  proportions,  in  order 
that  the  supply  might  not  run  short  (Benedict  XIV.,  De 
Sacrosanct.  Misses  Sacrif,  p.  27  ;  Bona,  291,  292  ;  Kozma, 
83  ;  Bellarmine,  De  Sacrif.  Miasm,  lib.  iv.  cap.  xxiv.) 

Baptismal  Chalices. — These  were  used  solely  for  commu- 
nicating children  after  they  had  been  baptized — a  custom 
which  once  prevailed  in  the  Church  of  the  West,  and  is 
yet  in  vogue  in  the  Eastern  Church. 

Silver  Tubes  attached  to  Ancient  Chalices. — The  first 
Eoman  Ordo,  in  laying  down  the  rules  that  regard  the  dis- 
tribution of  the  Precious  Blood,  says  that,  after  the  Pope 
and  his  ministers  had  taken  their  portion  from  the  Chalice 
employed  at  the  altar,  the  remainder  was  to  be  poured 
into  a  large  cup  (scyphus)  and  dispensed  to  the  people 
through  a  reed  or  tube  (Church  of  Our  Fathers,  vol.  i. 
164).  In  Masses  celebrated  by  an  ordinary  priest  the 
deacon  used  to  pour  unconsecrated  wine  first  into  the 
Chalice  intended  for  the  people  before  he  poured  the  Pre- 
cious Blood,  and  then  "  confirm  "  all,  as  the  saying  went 
— that  is,  allow  each  to  taste  of  the  Blood  thus  mingled 
through  a  reed  made  of  gold,  silver,  ivory,  or  glass,  as  the 
case  might  be  (ibid,  note  35). 

These  reeds  were  in  many  cases,  but  not  in  all,  fastened 

74  Sacred   Vessels. 

on  a  pivot  to  the  inside  of  the  Chalice,  and  were  so  ad- 
justed that  there  was  no  difficulty  whatever  experienced 
in  allowing  the  proper  quantity  of  the  Precious  Blood  to  pass 
through.  The  material  of  which  they  were  made  was  often 
of  the  most  precious  kind,  and  much  labor  used  to  be 
expended  in  their  workmanship.  St.  Paul's,  London,  had 
ia  1295  two  roeds  of  silver  gilt ;  and  among  the  presents 
bestowed  on  the  Cathedral  of  Exeter  by  its  bishop,  Leofric, 
was  one  "  silfren  pipe "  (ibid.  168,  note  39).  As  late  as 
a.d.  1200  the  Cathedral  of  Pavia  had  reeds  of  glass  (ibid.) 

Up  to  a  very  recent  date  the  silver  tube  was  employed 
in  the  Monastery  of  Cluny,  and  at  that  of  St.  Denis  in 
Paris,  on  Sundays  and  Holydays  (ibid.)  Kozma  (p.  84) 
would  lead  us  to  infer — in  fact,  he  asserts  it — that  this 
ancient  custom  is  yet  kept  up  in  the  Monastery  of  St.  Dio- 
nysius,  of  the  Congregation  of  St.  Maur,  near  Paris,  where, 
by  a  special  indult  of  the  Holy  See,  the  deacon  and  sub- 
deacon,  at  Solemn  High  Mass,  yet  communicate  under 
both  kinds.  With  this  exception  the  ancient  practice  is 
now  seen  nowhere  else  unless  in  Solemn  Mass  celebrated 
by  the  Pope,  where  his  Holiness  always  receives  the  Chalice 
through  one  of  the  forementioned  reeds.  The  deacon  as- 
sisting him  on  such  occasions  receives  the  Precious  Blood 
through  the  reed  also,  but  the  subdeacon  receives  it  from 
the  Chalice  itself  (Kozma,  84,  note  13). 

For  purifying  these  reeds  a  long  golden  needle  used  to  be 
employed  after  they  had  first  been  rinsed  with  wine  and 
water.  Dr.  Eock,  in  his  very  valuable  work,  The  Church  of 
Our  Fathers,  vol.  i.  p.  167,  exhibits  one  of  these  needles  hav- 
ing a  head  of  sapphire.  The  papal  needle  depicted  in  the 
same  place  has  two  chain  ornaments  at  its  head,  in  which 
the  pontiff  is  expected  to  put  his  fingers  when  receiving  the 
Precious  Blood. 

Before  we  dismiss  our  subject  we  must  not  forget  to 

The  Chalice. 

mention  that,  no  matter  how  numerous  the  do^Aihi^&YtJ 
were  when  the  discipline  of  receiving  under\j^h  specjjfc^ 
prevailed,  there  was  but  one  Chalice  used  at  the\^tattjrtlj 
act  of  consecrating.  Pope  Gregory  II.,  a.d.  726,  'having 
been  asked  by  St.  Boniface  if  it  were  lawful  to  employ  any 
more  than  one,  thus  replied  :  "In  the  celebration  of  Mass 
that  must  be  observed  which  Our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  ob- 
served with  his  disciples  ;  for  he  took  the  Chalice,  saying, 
'  This  is  the  Chalice  of  the  New  Testament  in  my  Blood ; 
this  do  as  often  as  you  shall  receive.'  Whence  it  is  not 
fitting  to  place  two  or  three  Chalices  on  the  altar  at  the 
celebration  of  Mass"  {Church  of  Our  Fathers,  i.  165, 

Chalices  of  the  Orientals.  —  The  extraordinary  respect 
shown  by  all  the  Orientals,  schismatic  as  well  as  ortho- 
dox, for  the  sacred  vessels  concerned  immediately  with  the 
Blessed  Sacrament  is  worthy  of  all  commendation.  The 
Copts  will  allow  nothing  to  enter  into  the  composition  of 
the  Chalice  but  the  most  precious  material ;  and  notwith- 
standing their  almost  universal  poverty  as  a  people,  yet  care 
is  always  taken  to  see  that  their  Chalices  are  of  the  purest 
silver  or  gold  (Renaudot,  Liturg.  Orient.  Collect.,  comment, 
ad  Liturg.  Copt.  8.  Basilii,  vol.  i.  p.  175). 

Regarding  the  consecration  of  the  Chalice  the  majority  of 
the  Orientals  are  not  particular.  But  this  is  not  through 
any  carelessness  whatever  or  disrespect  on  their  part ;  if 
anything,  it  is  a  mark  of  the  lively  faith  they  have  in  the 
real  presence  of  our  Divine  Lord  in  the  Blessed  Sacrament, 
and  of  their  belief  in  the  virtue  that  accompanies  this 
Sacred  Presence  everywhere.  Their  reasons  for  not  paying 
more  attention  to  the  consecration  of  their  Chalices  is  that 
to  their  minds  the  simple  contact  of  the  Precious  Blood  is 
sufficient  of  itself  to  consecrate  them  without  any  additional 
ceremony.     In  proof  of  this  belief  many  examples  of  a 

76  Sacred  Vessels. 

miraculous  nature  are  cited.  The  Copts,  for  instance,  have 
it  on  record  in  the  patriarchal  history  of  Alexandria  that 
when  one  of  their  Chalices  was  stolen  by  the  Mahometans 
and  sold  to  an  artisan,  the  latter  observed  blood  flowing 
from  it  the  moment  he  broke  it.  Another  story  is  related 
in  a  history  of  the  Nestorians,  to  the  effect  that  a  man  who 
had  been  almost  crushed  to  death  by  the  falling  of  a  wall 
was  instantly  restored  to  health  and  strength  by  drinking 
the  water  which  was  poured  out  of  a  Chalice.  Many  other 
miracles  are  cited,  but  those  given  we  deem  enough  at 
present.  Nor  was  the  belief  that  the  Chalice  is  consecrated 
by  contact  with  the  Precious  Blood  solely  confined  to  the 
Orientals  ;  some  very  able  theologians  of  the  Latin  Church, 
and  Diana  among  others,  held  the  same  belief  also  (Renau- 
dot,  ibid.;  Merati,  Thesaur.  Sacr.  Bit.,  126).  But  the  prac- 
tice of  our  Church  has  always  been  to  consecrate  in  every 
case,  irrespective  of  what  theologians  or  others  say  upon 
the  subject. 

It  must  be  observed,  however,  that  although  many  of  the 
Orientals  do  not  consecrate  their  Chalices,  yet  there  is  a 
form  for  so  doing  in  all  their  rituals.  According  to  the 
Coptic  Ritual,  the  form  runs  as  follows  :  "0  Lord  Jesus 
Christ,  God  and  man  together,  whose  divinity  and  humanity 
are  inseparable,  who  didst  by  thine  own  free-will  pour  out 
thy  blood  for  the  sake  of  thy  creatures,  stretch  thy  divine 
hand  over  this  Chalice,  sanctify  and  purify  it,  to  the  end 
that  the  same  Precious  Blood  may  be  borne  in  it  as  a  remedy 
and  pardon  for  all  who  truly  partake  of  it."  The  Chalice  is 
then  anointed  within  and  without  with  holy  chrism,  whilst 
the  following  words  are  said  :  "  Sanctity,  purity,  benedic- 
tion, and  protection  to  all  who  drink  of  thy  true  and  pre- 
cious blood.  Amen."  According  to  the  Greek  Ritual,  given 
by  Goar  (Euchology,  p.  853),  the  ceremony  of  consecration 
is  almost  the  same. 

Paten,  Ciborium,  Monstrance,  77 


The  Paten  is  that  small  silver  or  gold  dish,  something 
like  a  saucer,  which  covers  the  mouth  of  the  Chalice,  and 
upon  which  the  large  bread  for  consecration  is  placed  up  to 
the  Offertory.  It  is  required  to  be  of  the  same  material  as 
the  Chalice,  and  to  be  perfectly  plain  on  its  concave  surface 
(Bouvry,  ii.  239). 

In  ancient  times  the  Paten  was  much  larger  than  now,  for 
it  was  made  to  hold  all  the  bread  that  was  to  be  consecrated 
at  Mass.  Hence  we  must  not  be  surprised  when  we  hear  or 
read  of  Patens  which  weighed  twenty-five  and  thirty  pounds 
(Bona,  Eer.  Liturg.,  292;  Kozma,  84). 

Patens  of  the  Orientals. — The  Greeks  call  the  Paten 
ayioS  diffHOt,  or  holy  tray.  Theirs  is  much  larger  than 
ours,  as  must  needs  be  to  keep  their  large  Particles  from 
falling  off,  for  their  Hosts  are  not  thin  and  flat  like  ours, 
but  thick  and  square. 


"When  the  number  of  communicants  is  great  it  is  custo- 
mary to  administer  the  consecrated  Particles  to  them  from 
a  sacred  vessel  shaped  somewhat  like  the  Chalice,  but  much 
more  shallow  and  wide  in  the  cup,  called  a  Ciborium,  from 
the  Latin  cibus,  food.  In  ancient  times  the  Ciborium 
meant  the  canopy  of  the  altar,  from  which  a  contrivance 
shaped  like  a  dove,  and  generally  fashioned  of  gold  or  silver, 
used  to  hang  for  the  purpose  of  reserving  the  Blessed 
Sacrament  (Kozma,  p.  87).  Whilst  the  Ciborium  contains 
the  Holy  Eucharist  it  is  always  kept  under  lock  and  key  in 
the  tabernacle,  unless  when  it  is  necessary  to  give  Holy 
Communion  or  to  purify  it. 


The  Monstrance,  called  also  the  Ostensorium  and  Port- 

78  Sacred  Vessels, 

able  Tabernacle,  and  sometimes,  but  less  properly,  tha 
Remonstrance,  is  that  large  appurtenance  in  which  the 
Blessed  Sacrament  is  exposed  at  Benediction,  and  borne  in 
solemn  procession  outside  the  church  on  certain  occasions. 
It  has  a  large  stem  something  like  that  of  the  Chalice,  and 
its  upper  part  is  so  formed  as  to  resemble  the  rays  issuing 
from  the  radiant  sun.  In  its  centre  there  is  a  circular  aper- 
ture in  which  the  Lunette,  with  the  Blessed  Sacrament 
enclosed,  is  placed  during  exposition. 

Monstrances  date  their  origin  from  the  institution  of  the 
Feast  of  Corpus  Christi,4  which  was  first  set  on  foot  by 
Robert,  Bishop  of  Liege,  in  the  year  1246,  at  the  instiga- 
tion of  a  holy  nun  named  Juliana,  who  frequently  saw  in  a 
vision  a  luminous  moon  with  one  dark  line  on  its  surface. 
The  moon,  she  was  given  to  understand  by  special  revela- 
tion, was  the  Church  ;  and  the  dark  line  denoted  the  ab- 
sence of  a  certain  feast  from  those  annually  celebrated,  and 
which  she  was  afterwards  given  to  understand  meant  one 
specially  directed  towards  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  This  led 
to  the  institution  of  Corpus  Christi,  which  Pope  Urban 
IV.,  in  1264,  extended  to  the  universal  Church.     Other  rea- 

4  In  order  to  invest  this  glorious  Feast  with  as  much  solemnity  -nd  grandeur  as  pos- 
sible, Pope  Urban  caused  a  Mass  and  Office  to  be  specially  composed  for  it,  which  he 
entrusted  to  two  of  the  most  illustrious  and  eminent  scholars  of  the  day— St.  Bonaven- 
ture  and  St.  Thomas  Aquinas.  Both  set  to  work  with  the  most  ardent  zeal,  but  when 
the  great  Franciscan  saint  went  to  compare  his  work  with  what  the  "  Angelic  Doctor1' 
had  done,  he  was  so  dissatisfied  with  his  own  efforts  that  he  threw  his  manuscript  into 
the  fire  and  abandoned  the  task  ;  and  hence  the  whole  work  devolved  upon,  and  was 
finished  by,  St.  Thomas  (Life  of  St.  T/iomas ,  by  Most  Rev.  Dr.  Vaughan,  p.  880).  This 
Saint  wrote  out  and  arranged  the  Mass  as  it  stands  to-day  for  this  feast.  He  composed 
as  a  Sequence  for  it  the  inimitable  "  Lauda  Sion  "  ;  and  for  Divine  Office,  among  other 
hymns,  the  "  Pange,  lingua,"  of  which  the  "  Tantnm  ergo  "  forms  a  part. 

Besides  the  office  framed  by  St.  Thomas,  there  was  another  in  use  for  some  time, 
said  to  be  composed  by  an  ecclesiastic  named  John,  of  Mount  Cornelio.  It  is  the 
opinion  of  several  writers  that  when  this  Office  was  suppressed  on  account  of  some 
things  in  it  that  did  not  wholly  square  with  the  disposition  of  the  Roman  Breviary— for 
it  was  framed  according  to  the  Gallic  Rite— St  Thomas  utilized  much  of  it  in  the 
Office  he  himself  composed  (Romsee,  iii.  p.  183 ;  Gavantus,  Tlwaur.  Sacr.  Bit.,  458). 

Who  may  touch  the  Sacred  Vessels.  79 

sons,  too,  are  given  for  the  institution  of  this  feast,  such  as 
an  apparition  that  a  certain  priest  of  little  faith  had  after 
the  Consecration,  when  our  Divine  Lord  appeared  to  him 
on  the  Corporal  in  form  of  a  beautiful  infant.  Another 
legend  says  that  the  priest  through  some  accident  upset 
part  of  the  Precious  Blood  on  the  Corporal,  and  that  an 
image  of  a  Host  was  seen  wherever  it  fell  (see  Gavaiitus, 
TJiesaur.  Bit.,  p.  458  ;  Kozma,  88  and  388 ;  and  Romsee, 
iii.  p.  183). 

For  some  time  after  the  institution  of  Corpus  Christi 
the  Monstrance  took  the  shape  of  those  little  towers  in 
which  the  Blessed  Sacrament  used  to  be  kept  in  ancient 

In  some  of  the  churches  of  the  Cistercian  Order  in 
France,  instead  of  a  regular  Monstrance  such  as  we  use, 
there  is  employed  a  small  statue  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  so 
constructed  that  the  Sacred  Host  may  be  placed  in  its  hand 
during  the  time  of  exposition  (Kozma,  89,  note  6). 

The  present  shape  of  the  Monstrance,  imitating  the  ra- 
diant sun,  forcibly  recalls  to  mind  the  divine  splendor  of 
our  Lord's  countenance  on  the  occasion  of  his  Transfigura- 
tion on  Thabor,  and  that  saying  of  the  royal  Psalmist : 
"  He  has  placed  his  tabernacle  in  the  sun  "  (Ps.  xviii.  6 ; 

The  material  of  the  Monstrance  is  generally  the  same  as 
that  of  the  other  sacred  vessels  mentioned.  When  borne  in 
solemn  procession,  a  large  canopy,  called  a  Baldachinum,  is 
carried  over  it. 


So  very  particular  is  the  Church  regarding  the  respect 
that  should  be  paid  to  the  sacred  vessels  immediately  con- 
cerned with  the  Holy  Eucharist,  that  she  forbids  them, 
under  pain  of  sin,  to  be  touched  by  any  one  but  a  cleric. 

80  Sacred  Vessels. 

Nay,  even  clerics,  unless  they  have  reached  the  rank  of  sub- 
deacon,  are  not  allowed  to  touch  them  without  special  per- 
mission. Should  any  one  wilfully  touch  the  Chalice  whilst  it 
contains  the  Precious  Blood,  and  not  be  at  least  in  deacon's 
orders,  all  theologians  hold  that  he  would  by  so  doing  com- 
mit a  mortal  sin.  When  permission  is  granted  a  lay  person 
to  touch  the  sacred  vessels,  he  should  always  wear  a  glove 
or  have  his  hand  covered  with  a  cloth  or  clean  napkin 
(De  Herdt,  vol.  i.  No.  175). 


The  Old  Testament  is  full  of  examples  that  show  how  in- 
dignantly Almighty  God  takes  the  slightest  disrespect  shown 
to  any  of  the  sacred  vessels  used  in  his  service.  Look  at  the 
history  of  the  Ark  of  the  Covenant,  and  see  what  miracles 
were  wrought  in  testimony  of  its  sanctity.  First,  it  is  cap- 
tured by  the  Philistines,  and  insult  is  offered  it  by  being 
brought  into  the  temple  of  Dagon  ;  but  it  has  scarcely  enter- 
ed when  Dagon  falls  to  the  ground  (1  Kings  v.),  and  for  the 
indignity  offered  it,  the  whole  city  of  Azotus  is  severely 
punished.  The  Gethites  carry  the  Ark  about  from  one 
place  to  another,  and  wherever  it  entered  the  mortality  was 
so  fearful  that,  as  the  Scripture  says,  "  The  fear  of  death 
was  in  every  city"  (ibid.)  Then,  again,  look  at  the  sorrow- 
ful example  made  of  the  Bethsamites.  For  looking  with 
curiosity  into  the  Ark  as  many  as  fifty  thousand  of  them 
were  slain  (ibid.  cap.  vi. )  But  the  most  appalling  example 
of  all  is  that  recorded  of  Heliodorus  in  the  second  book  of 
Machabees,  chap.  iii.  This  infamous  man,  to  gratify  the 
wishes  of  Seleucus,  son  of  Antiochus  the  Great,  set  out  for 
Jerusalem  in  order  to  plunder  the  Temple  of  its  valuable 
treasures.    Onias,  a  very  saintly  man,  was  High-Priest  at  the 

Appalling  Punishments  of  Profaners.  81 

time.  All  that  could  possibly  be  done  by  prayer  and  earnest 
entreaty  was  done  on  that  occasion  to  hinder  Heliodorus 
from  persisting  in  his  wicked  design,  but  to  no  purpose. 
He  entered  the  Temple,  and  was  about  to  lay  hands  upon 
the  sacred  treasures,  when  lo  !  the  judgment  of  God  fell 
upon  him.  "  There  appeared,"  says  the  sacred  text,  "  a 
horse  with  a  terrible  rider  upon  him,  adorned  with  a  very 
rich  covering :  and  he  ran  fiercely  and  struck  Heliodorus 
with  his  fore-feet,  and  he  that  sat  upon  him  seemed  to 
have  armor  of  gold.  Moreover,  there  appeared  two  other 
young  men  beautiful  and  strong,  bright  and  glorious,  and 
in  comely  apparel :  who  stood  by  him,  on  either  side,  and 
scourged  him  without  ceasing  with  many  stripes.  And  He- 
liodorus suddenly  fell  to  the  ground. "  These  are  but  a  few 
of  the  many  others  that  are  found  here  and  there  in  the  Old 
Testament,  where  we  see  the  malediction  of  God  visiting  the 
profaners  of  His  sacred  temple.  Those  furnished  by  histo- 
rians and  annalists  of  the  Christian  Church  are  m  nowise 
less  astounding. 

It  is  well  known,  for  instance,  how,  when  the  Donatists 
broke  down  the  altars  of  the  early  Christian  churches  and 
cast  the  Blessed  Eucharist  to  the  dogs,  the  latter  turned 
upon  the  wicked  wretches  themselves  and  tore  them  to 
pieces.  St.  Gregory  of  Tours  tells  us  of  an  English  noble- 
man who  entirely  lost  the  use  of  his  feet  on  account  of  hav- 
ing dared  to  wash  them  in  a  Paten  which  he  had  brought 
from  a  neighboring  church  (Kozma,  85,  note  17).  But 
what  Theodoret  relates  in  his  third  book,  chap,  xii.,  of  the 
soldiers  of  Julian  the  Apostate  is  the  most  appalling  that 
could  be  recorded.  There  was  at  that  time  a  very  beautiful 
church  at  Antioch,  called  the  "  Golden  "  from  its  wonderful 
magnificence.  Its  valuable  treasures  were  immense,  and  all 
the  donation  of  Constantine  the  Great.  Julian  sent  two  of 
his  men  to  plunder  this  church  and  bring  the  spoils  to  him* 

82  Sacred  Vessels. 

self.  They  obeyed  his  commands ;  but  mark  the  result. 
Not  content  with  desecrating  the  sacred  house  itself,  one  of 
them  ascended  the  main  altar  and  defiled  it  in  a  most  shame- 
ful manner,  while  the  other  kept  crying  out  in  blasphemous 
derision  :  "  Behold  what  fine  vessels  they  use  in  the  worship 
of  the  Son  of  Mary  I"  Divine  vengeance  in  an  instant  over- 
took both  of  them.  The  first  was  seized  with  an  ulcer 
which  turned  his  inside  to  putrefaction,  so  that  he  died 
vomiting  his  bowels  through  his  blasphemous  mouth.  The 
other  was  taken  with  a  violent  hemorrhage,  which  continued 
without  interruption  until  all  the  blood  in  his  body  had  been 
drained  off ;  then  he  expired  amidst  the  most  excruciating 
pains.  This  dire  occurrence  is  also  related  by  Protestant  his- 
torians. Another  singular  visitation  of  G-od  is  related  by  Vic- 
tor Uticensis  in  his  work  on  the  Vandal  persecutions  (lib.  i. 
p.  593).  This  historian  tells  us  that  a  man  named  Proclus, 
agent  of  one  of  the  Vandal  kings,  once  entered  a  Christian 
church,  and,  having  stripped  the  altar  of  its  sacred  coverings, 
converted  them  to  his  own  private  uses.  He  made  him- 
self shirts  of  some  of  the  coverings  and  drawers  of  others  ; 
but  the  very  instant  he  put  them  on  he  was  seized  with  so 
frightful  an  attack  of  mental  delirium  that  he  died  biting 
his  tongue  off. 

These  examples  are  sufficient  to  show  how  inviolable  and 
sacred  the  smallest  article  of  the  sanctuary  is  held  in  th« 
eyes  of  Almighty  God. 



The  Corporal  in  its  present  form  is  a  square  piece  of 
linen  about  the  size  of  a  handkerchief,  folded  in  four  parts, 
and  having  a  small  black  cross  worked  near  the  middle 
of  its  anterior  edge.  It  is  spread  out  on  the  altar,  at 
full  length,  at  the  beginning  of  Mass,  and  the  Chalice  is 
placed  upon  it.  The  name  Corporal  is  given  to  it  from  the 
fact  that  our  Divine  Lord's  Body  under  the  Sacred  Species 
rests  upon  it.  It  is  of  strict  obligation  that  it  be  of  linen, 
and  this  principally  to  commemorate  the  "  linen  garments  " 
in  which  our  Lord's  Body  was  shrouded  in  the  sepulchre. 
So  particular  is  the  Church  about  this  sacred  cloth  that  she 
will  allow  none  to  touch  it  but  those  who  have  the  privilege 
of  touching  the  Chalice  ;  and  when  it  needs  washing  the 
duty  devolves  upon  a  subdeacon  or  one  in  major  orders.  It 
must  be  washed  with  great  care  in  three  separate  waters, 
and  should,  if  possible,  be  made  up  without  starch.  This 
Litter  precaution  is  necessary  on  account  of  the  danger  of 
mistaking  a  particle  of  the  starch,  which  may  often  adhere 
to  it,  for  a  Consecrated  Particle.  When  the  Corporal  is  not 
in  use  it  is  kept  folded  up  in  the  Burse. 

We  have  said  that  the  Corporal  must  be  made  of  linen. 
Pope  Silvester  L,  a.d.  314,  strictly  forbade  it  to  be  made  of 
silk  or  of  any  tinctured  cloth  ;  and  a  council  held  at  Rheims 
repeated  this  prohibition,  adding  that  it  must  be  of   the 

84  Chalice  Linens. 

purest  and  neatest  linen,  and  be  mixed  with  nothing  else,  no 
matter  how  precious  (Kozma,  85).  According  to  Durandus 
(Rationale  Divinorum,  p.  217),  the  original  injunction  re- 
quiring the  Corporal  to  be  of  linen  was  promulgated  by 
Pope  Sixtus  I.,  a.d.  132.  The  same  author  gives  a  very 
beautiful  but  rather  far-fetched  reason,  as  nearly  all  his  rea- 
sons are,  for  having  it  of  this  material.  "  As  linen,"  says 
he,  "  attains  to  whiteness  only  after  much  labor  and  dressing, 
so  the  flesh  of  Christ  by  much  suffering  attained  to  the  glory 
of  the  Resurrection  "  (ibid.) 

In  ancient  times  the  Corporal  was  large  enough  to  cover 
the  entire  table  of  the  altar,  and  the  duty  of  spreading  it 
out,  which  was  not  done  until  coming  on  the  Offertory,  was 
the  peculiar  office  of  the  deacon,  who  also  folded  it  up  after 
the  Communion  (Kozma,  86).  To-day  it  is  only  at  Low  Mass 
that  the  Corporal  is  spread  out  on  the  altar,  from  the  begin- 
ning ;  at  Solemn  High  Mass  the  ancient  discipline  of  spread- 
ing it  out  at  the  approach  of  the  Offertory  is  still  in  vogue. 

Corporal  of  the  Orientals. — The  Greeks  call  the  Corporal 
eiXr/rov,  eileton — that  is,  something  rolled  up,  referring  to 
the  wrapping  up  of  our  Lord's  Body  in  the  linen  shroud 
procured  by  Joseph  of  Arimathea  (Goar,  Euchol.  Graic,  p. 
130).  The  Corporals  used  by  the  Orientals  scarcely  differ  in 
anything  from  those  used  in  the  Greek  Church. 


The  Purificator,  called  also  the  Mundatory,  is  a  piece  of 
linen  about  twenty  inches  long,  and  in  width,  when  folded 
in  three,  about  four  inches.  It  has  a  small  cross  in  the 
centre,  and  when  not  in  use  it  is  kept  wrapped  up  by  the 
priest  in  the  Amice. 

That  the  Purificator  is  of  modern  introduction,  we  are  jus- 
tified in  asserting  from  the  fact  that  it  is  mentioned  by  none 
of  the  ancient  liturgists.     All  that  we  learn  concerning  it  is 

Pally  Veil  85 

that  formerly  the  custom  prevailed  with  the  monks  of  cer- 
tain monasteries  of  appending  a  piece  of  linen  to  the  Epistle 
side  of  the  altar  by  which  the  Chalice  used  to  be  wiped  after 
Communion  (Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  297  ;  Kosma,  p.  86). 
When  the  Purificator  became  one  of  the  Chalice  linens,  is 
not  easy  to  determine  ;  certain  it  is  that  no  mention  is  made 
of  it  by  any  writer  prior  to  the  thirteenth  century.  Pope 
Innocent  III.,  who  died  in  1216,  makes  no  allusion  to  it, 
although  he  wrote  a  very  exhaustive  work  on  the  Mass 
and  its  ceremonies  ;  neither  does  Durandus  speak  of  it, 
although  he  describes  the  other  linens  minutely. 

Instead  of  a  Purificator  like  ours,  the  Greeks  use  a  sponge, 
and  this  with  reference  to  the  sponge  employed  at  our  Lord's 
Crucifixion  (Goar,  Euchol.,  p.  151).  The  Greeks  rarely  use 
anything  in  their  service  which  has  not  a  reference  of  some 
kind  to  our  Saviour's  life  upon  earth. 


The  Pall  is  a  stiff  piece  of  linen  about  five  inches  square, 
having  a  cross  worked  in  its  centre.  It  is  employed  for 
covering  the  mouth  of  the  Chalice  to  prevent  dust  or  flies 
from  falling  in,  and  when  not  in  actual  use  it  is  kept  with 
the  Corporal  shut  up  in  the  Burse. 

For  the  first  eleven  or  twelve  centuries,  the  Corporal  was 
so  large  that  it  served  to  cover  the  Chalice  instead  of  the 
Pall  now  in  use.  To  this  end  its  hinder  part  was  so  arranged 
that  immediately  after  the  Offertory  it  could  be  drawn  over 
the  Host  and  chalice  together.  The  Carthusians  observe 
this  discipline  yet  (Bona,  207). 


The  Veil  which  covers  the  Chalice  is  generally  of  the 
same  material  as  the  Chasuble ;  but  if  that  of  the  latter 
be  very  stiff  it  is  recommended  to  have  the  Veil  made  of 

86  Chalice  Linens. 

silk,  on  account  of  its  pliancy,  but  in  color  it  must  always 
agree  with  the  regular  vestments. 


The  Burse,  in  which  the  Corporal  and  Fall  are  placed 
out  of  Mass,  ought  to  be  of  the  same  rfiaterial  and  color 
as  the  rest  of  the  vestments,  and  a  v;ross  should  be  worked 
in  its  centre. 




We  have  said  that  in  ancient  times  the  Blessed  Sacrament 
used  to  be  kept  in  a  golden  dove  suspended  from  the  canopy 
of  the  altar.  This  was  the  way  in  which  it  was  generally 
kept,  and  it  was  on  this  account  that  many  of  the  ancient 
fathers  used  to  designate  the  church  by  the  appellation  of 
"  Domus  Columbae  " — that  is,  the  House  of  the  Dove  (Sel- 
vaggio,  b.  i.  p.  1).  Eeference,  of  course,  to  the  Holy  Ghost, 
who  is  so  often  represented  by  a  dove,  is  the  ultimate  intent 
of  the  expression. 

The  Church  of  Verona  used  to  keep  the  Blessed  Sacra- 
ment in  an  ivory  vessel  of  costly  workmanship  (Martene, 
De  Antiquis  Ecclesm  Ritibus),  and  this  was  the  cus- 
tom also  with  many  British  churches.  Sometimes  it  was 
kept  in  a  small  tower,  and  sometimes  in  a  neat  little  basket 
of  delicate  wicker-work,  in  allusion  to  the  baskets  that  were 
used  at  the  miraculous  multiplication  of  the  loaves  by  our 
Divine  Lord.  This  latter  way  of  keeping  it  was  in  vogue  at 
Rome  in  the  time  of  Pope  Gregory  XL,  a.d.  1370  (ibid.) 

In  many  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  churches,  whilst  the  custom 
prevailed  of  keeping  the  Blessed  Sacrament  in  the  golden 
dove,  a  sort  of  aureola,  formed  of  very  brilliant  lights, 
used  to  surround  it.  In  all  cases  a  light  burned  before  it 
day  and  night  (Dr.  Eock,  Church  of  Our  Fathers,  vol.  i. 


88     The  Manner  of  Reserving  the  Blessed  Sacrament. 


The  Catholic  reader  need  hardly  be  told  that  the  Blessed 
Sacrament  is  now  reserved  in  a  ciborium  placed  in  the 
Tabernacle  and  covered  with  a  silken  veil.  Here  it  is  to  be 
had  whenever  it  is  needed,  whether  to  communicate  the 
people  during  Mass  or  go  on  its  errand  as  the  Holy  Viati- 
cum to  the  dying.  A  little  lamp  filled  with  pure  olive-oil 
burns  before  it  constantly,  and  a  bell  is  rung  whenever  it  is 
to  be  taken  away  outside  of  Mass.  In  order  that  there  may 
be  no  danger  of  the  Sacred  Particles  becoming  stale  or 
unpleasant  to  the  taste,  it  is  customary  to  renew  them  every 
eight  or  ten  days.  Then  the  old  Particles  are  either  dis- 
tributed at  the  rails  to  the  communicants  or  consumed  by 
the  priest  at  the  altar  whilst  he  yet  remains  fasting. 


The  Greek  Church  reserves  the  Holy  Eucharist  in  a  little 
satchel  placed  near  the  main  altar,  in  what  is  termed  the 
Artophorion,  and  keeps  a  light  constantly  burning  before  it 
(Goar,  Euchol.  Grcec,  15).  When  conveying  it  to  the  sick 
as  the  Holy  Viaticum,  the  priest  must  always  be  preceded 
by  two  deacons  with  torches  in  their  hands,  who  keep  up  a 
continual  recital  of  psalms  the  whole  way.  In  some  places 
the  law  of  the  land  requires  all  to  kneel  down  on  such  occa- 
sions until  the  Blessed  Sacrament  has  passed,  and  this 
whether  the  parties  who  come  in  the  way  be  Turks,  Jews, 
or  heathens  (Martene,  De  Antiq.  Bed  Bit.,  q.  2). 

The  Abyssinians  reserve  the  Blessed  Sacrament  in  what 
they  call  the  Tabout,  or  ark,  for  a  tradition  of  long  stand- 
ing among  them  says  that  the  real  "  Ark  of  the  Covenant  " 
is  yet  preserved  in  their  land  ;  and  hence  their  desire  to 
perpetuate  the  fact  by  applying  the  name  to  the  tabernacle 
in  which  the  Blessed  Sacrament  is  kept.     The  prayer  for 

The  Pyx.  89 

the  consecration  of  this  ark  is  thus  given  in  the  Ethiopic 
Canon  :  '.*  0  Lord  our  God,  who  didst  command  Moses  thy 
servant  and  prophet,  saying,  «  Make  me  precious  vessels, 
and  put  them  in  the  tabernacle  on  Mount  Sinai/  now,  0 
Lord  God  Almighty,  stretch  forth  thy  hand  upon  this  ark, 
and  fill  it  with  the  virtue,  power,  and  grace  of  thy  Holy 
Ghost,  that  in  it  may  be  consecrated  the  Body  and  Blood  of 
thine  only-begotten  Son,  our  Lord  "  (Neale,  Holy  Eastern 
Church,  i.  186  ;  Eenaudot,  Liturg.  Orient.,  i.  p.  474). 

The  Copts  never  reserve  the  Blessed  Eucharist  out- 
side of  Mass  ;  and  they  defend  their  strange  discipline  by 
saying  that  it  was  forbidden  the  chosen  people  of  old  to 
reserve  any  portion  of  the  paschal  lamb  from  one  day  to 
another,  but  that  all  of  it  had  to  be  consumed  at  one  meal. 
So  that  if  a  Coptic  priest  should  be  summoned  any  time  of 
the  day  or  night  to  the  bed  of  a  dying  person,  in  order  to 
procure  the  Holy  Viaticum,  he  will  say  Mass,  whether  fast- 
ing or  not,  without  the  slightest  scruple  (Denzinger,  Ritus 
Orientalium,  p.  86).  There  are  two  other  reasons,  how- 
ever, besides  the  one  mentioned,  for  this  strange  discipline. 
The  first  is  that,  inasmuch  as  the  Copts  are  wholly  under 
dominion  of  the  Mahometans,  they  are  apprehensive  that 
the  latter  might  break  into  their  churches  at  any  time  and 
offer  insult  to  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  The  second  reason 
why  they  do  not  reserve  it,  is  owing  to  a  strange  fear  they 
have  that  it  might  be  devoured  by  some  of  thoire  treacherous 
serpents  for  which  their  land  is  remarkable.  An  accident 
of  this  kind  happened  once,  and  ever  since  the  Coptic  patri- 
archs have  forbidden  all  reservation  of  the  Blessed  Sacra- 
ment outside  of  Mass  (ibid.) 


The  Pyx  is  a  small  box,  generally  of  gold  or  silver,    in 
which   the   Blessed  Sacrament   is   carried  to  the  sick.     In 

90     The  Manner  of  Reserving  the  Blessed  Sacrament. 

shape  it  exactly  resembles  the  case  of  a  watch,  and  seldom 
or  never  exceeds  the  latter  in  size.  When  carried  on  the 
person  of  the  priest  it  is  enclosed  in  a  silken  purse,  to  which 
a  string  is  attached  for  fastening  it  around  the  neck.  In 
Catholic  countries,  instead  of  the  Pyx,  the  ciborium  is  car- 
ried in  procession,  and  a  ringing  of  bells  is  kept  up  all  the 
time  as  a  warning  to  the  people  that  our  Lord  is  passing  by 
on  his  mission  to  the  sick. 

Out  of  respect  for  the  Blessed  Sacrament  the  priest  is  re- 
quired to  walk  with  a  slow,  dignified  pace  on  these  occa- 
sions, and  this  must  characterize  his  movements  whether  he 
go  on  foot  or  horseback.  Some  of  the  very  best  authorities 
maintain  that  a  priest  should  not  run  or  make  any  undue 
haste  on  such  occasions,  even  though  he  were  quite  cer- 
tain that  by  not  doing  so  the  sick  person  would  be  dead 
before  he  had  reached  him  (De  Herdt,  Sacr.  Liturg.,  iii 

A  solemn  silence  is  also  enjoined  ;  and  no  salutes  or  reve" 
rences  must  be  paid  to  any  one  on  the  way. 

When  the  distance  is  short,  walking  is  considered  the 
most  respectful  way  of  travelling  ;  when  long,  a  carriage 
or  horse  may  be  employed  ;  but  care  must  be  taken  to  move 
slowly  in  every  case. 

Propriety  also  requires — in  fact,  the  rubric  directly  pre- 
scribes it — that  the  Pyx  be  fastened  round  the  neck  and 
secured  somewhere  on  the  breast,  but  never  enclosed  in 
the  pocket ;  and  all  the  time  that  the  priest  holds  it  on 
his  person,  while  a  Particle  is  in  it,  he  must  not  sit  down 
unless  in  case  of  real  necessity. 

Oriental  Usage. — Unless  the  person  be  very  dangerously 
ill  the  Oriental  priests  will  not  carry  the  Blessed  Sacrament 
outside  of  church,  but  will  require  the  sick  person  to  be 
conveyed  thither  and  communicated  there.  When  commu- 
nicated out  of  church  it  is  always,  at  least  with  the  major- 

The  Pyx.  91 

ity  of  the  Orientals,  the  rule  to  administer  only  under  one 
kind— viz.,  that  of  bread  (Denzinger,  93  et  passim). 

The  demonstrations  made  in  the  East  before  the  Blessed 
Sacrament,  when  going  to  the  sick,  are  very  great.  A 
solemn  recitation  of  psalms  and  pious  hymns  is  kept  up  all 
the  time,  and  deacons  and  acolytes  head  the  procession  with 
torches  and  incense.  No  one  of  the  party  must  ever  dare 
to  sit  down  ;  and  the  most  solemn  decorum  must  be  ob- 
served by  all  until  the  journey  has  been  completed. 

With  the  Syrian  Jacobites  it  is  strictly  forbidden  to  put 
the  Blessed  Sacrament  in  one's  pocket  when  conveying  it 
to  the  sick.  It  must  be  carried  in  a  purse  fastened  around 
the  neck;  and  should  the  journey  be  made  on  horse- 
back, on  no  account  must  this  purse  be  fastened  to  the 
saddle,  or  conveyed  in  any  other  way  but  on  the  person  of 
the  priest  (ibid.  92).  That  this  is  also  the  rule  observed  by 
the  Copts  we  see  from  Renaudot  ( Commentarius  ad  Liturg. 
Copt,  270.) 


Of  the  use  of  Incense  in  divine  service  so  much  is  said 
in  the  Old  Testament  that  it  is  not  necessary  to  say  much 
about  it  here.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  its  use  in  the  Latin 
Church  is  principally  confined  to  Solemn  High  Mass  and 
Vespers,  to  expositions  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament,  and  to 
the  obsequies  of  the  dead.  In  the  Eastern  Church,  espe- 
cially with  the  Maronites,  it  is  used  on  almost  every  occa- 
sion, whether  the  Mass  be  High  or  Low,  as  we  shall  see 
further    on. 

Its  spiritual  meaning  is  as  follows :  First,  by  its  burning 
we  are  reminded  how  our  hearts  should  burn  with  the  fire 
of  divine  charity.  Secondly,  it  represents  the  good  odor  of 
Christ  our  Lord,  in  accordance  with  that  saying  in  the  Can- 
ticle of  Canticles,  "  We  run  in  the  odor  of  thy  ointments." 
Therefore,  as  Incense  spreads  its*  odor  through  the  entire 
church  and  refreshes  our  bodies  by  its  agreeable  scent,  so 
also  does  our  Lord  spread  his  graces  to  refresh  and  nourish 
our  souls.  Thirdly,  Incense  has,  both  in  the  Old  and  New 
Law,  been  ever  looked  upon  as  symbolic  of  the  virtue  of 
prayer,  agreeably  to  that  saying  of  the  royal  Psalmist,  "  Let 
my  prayer,  0  Lord,  be  directed  as  incense  in  thy  sight" 
(Ps.  cxl.);  and  that  of  St.  John  in  the  Apocalypse,  chap, 
viii. :  "  Another  angel  came,  and  stood  before  the  altar,  hav- 
ing a  golden  censer;  and  there  was  given  him  much  in- 
cense, that  he  should  oifer  of  the  prayers  of  all  the  saints" 


The  Thurible.  93 

(Bonvry,  ii.  21;  Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  295;  Durandus,  Rationale 
Divinorum,  165). 

When  Incense  is  offered  to  a  person  it  is  always  indicative 
of  the  highest  respect.  Thus,  the  Magi  offered  it  to  our 
Lord  at  his  birth  on  Christmas  morning.  Our  bodies,  too, 
when  placed  in  the  grave,  are  incensed,  for  the  principal 
reason  that  on  account  of  the  participation  of  the  sacra- 
ments during  life  they  became  the  temples  of  the  Holy 
Ghost  (Bouvry,  ii.  594). 


The  vessel  in  which  the  Incense  is  burned  is  called  the 
Thurible,  a  word  of  Greek  origin,  meaning  the  same  as  our 
word  censer,  by  which  it  is  more  generally  designated. 
Accompanying  the  Thurible  is  a  little  vessel,  shaped  like  a 
fcoat,  in  which  the  Incense  is  kept,  and  from  which  it  is 
taken  by  a  small  spoon. 

In  ancient  times  the  material  of  the  Thurible  was  some- 
times very  precious.  Constantine  the  Great,  as  we  read  in 
Anastasius  (Vita  8.  Silvestri,  i.  31),  presented,  among  other 
things,  to  the  basilica  of  St.  John  Lateran  at  Rome  a 
number  of  Thuribles  of  the  purest  gold,  set  with  a  profusion 
of  gems  and  precious  stones. 

In  the  ancient  Anglo-Saxon  Church  particular  attention 
was  paid  to  the  material  as  well  as  to  the  form  of  the  Thu- 
rible. Nor  was  the  use  of  Incense  wholly  confined  to  the 
sanctuary,  for  we  have  it  recorded  that  in  many  churches 
large  Thuribles  used  to  hang  down  from  the  roof;  or,  as 
was  often  the  case,  from  a  specially-constructed  framework 
supported  by  columns.  On  the  greater  festivals  Incense 
was  placed  in  these  and  allowed  to  burn  throughout  the 
entire  service  (Dr.  Rock,  Church  of  Our  Fathers,  i.  206). 
That  these  hanging  Thuribles  were  also  in  vogue  at  Rome 
we  read  in  the  life  of  Pope  Sergius,  A.D.  690.     Around  the 

94  Incense, 

altar,  too,  it  was  customary  in  many  places  to  haye  curiously- 
wrought  vessels  for  the  same  purpose.  Some  of  them  used 
to  be  made  so  as  to  resemble  various  kinds  of  birds.  In 
these  an  aperture  with  a  lid  to  it  was  formed  in  the  back, 
so  that  when  fire  was  put  in  and  Incense  cast  upon  it  the 
fumes  would  issue  through  the  bird's  beak.  Conrade,  a 
writer  of  the  twelfth  century,  describes  the  hollow-formed 
silver  cranes  that  he  saw  in  the  church  of  Mentz,  and  how 
the  Incense  issued  from  them  when  fire  was  applied  (ibid, 
p.  208,  note). 


In  the  Oriental  churches  a  free  use  of  Incense  is  kept 
up  all  through  divine  service ;  and  this  is  not  confined  to 
Mass  alone — it  forms  part  of  nearly  every  exercise  of  devo- 
tion (Eenaudot,  Liturg.  Orient.,  i.  p.  183). 

The  Copts  use  it  before  pictures  '  of  the  Blessed  Virgin 
(ibid.) ;  so  also  do  the  Greeks  and  Russians,  both  of  whom 
are  particularly  careful  to  keep  a  lamp  burning  besides, 
upon  which  they  throw  grains  now  and  then  through  the 
day  (Dr.  Rock,  Church  of  Our  Fathers,  i.  p.  209,  note ; 
Burder,  Religious  Ceremonies  and  Customs,  pp.  150,  151 ; 
Rites  and  Customs  of  the  Greco-Russian  Church,  passim,' 
by  Romanoff). 

>  Throughout  the  East  generally,  instead  of  statues  of  saints,  pictures  are  used,  for 
the  Orientals  maintain  that  the  clause  of  Deuteronomy  in  which  «<  graven  things  »  ar. 
forbidden  should  be  literally  observed  even  now. 



As  it  would  not  be  exactly  in  the  line  of  this  book  to  en- 
ter into  a  full  history  of  Ecclesiastical  Music,  we  think  we 
shall  have  done  our  part  when  we  have  given  the  reader  a 
brief  account  of  the  place  that  it  holds  to-day  in  the  service 
of  the  Church. 

And  first  let  us  remark  that  it  is  only  in  High  Mass  that 
music  forms  part  of  divine  service.  For  Low  Mass  it  is  not 

For  the  preservation  and  cultivation  of  ecclesiastical  mu- 
sic, or  Chant,  as  it  is  generally  called,  in  the  Latin  or 
Western  Church,  we  are  principally  indebted  to  the  zealous 
labors  of  St.  Ambrose,  Archbishop  of  Milan  (fourth  cen- 
tury), and  to  the  illustrious  pontiffs,  Gelasius  and  Gregory 
the  Great.  Most  of  the  hymns  of  the  Divine  Office,  or  Bre- 
viary, are  the  work  of  the  first  named  ;  and  these,  at  least 
in  great  part,  he  was  led  to  compose,  as  he  says  himself,  in 
order  to  counteract  the  evil  tendencies  produced  in  the 
minds  of  the  faithful  by  the  circulation  and  recital  of  the 
Arian  hymns  which,  during  his  day,  had  been  gaining 
such  vantage-ground  all  through  Christendom.  Of  the 
Ambrosian  Chant,  strictly  so-called,  the  only  specimen  we 
have  in  the  Mass  of  to-day  is  that  found  in  the  celebrated 
composition  sung  at  the  blessing  of  the  Paschal  Candle  on 
Holy  Saturday,   and   called,  from   the   word  with  which  it 


96  Sacred  Music  and  Musical  Instruments. 

begins,  the  "  Exultet."  It  is  almost  universally  admitted 
that  the  composition  of  this  is  the  work  of  St.  Augustine, 
but  that  the  chant  itself  is  Ambrosian. 

As  St.  Ambrose  lived  a  considerable  time  in  the  East, 
where  Church  music  had  already  been  zealously  cultivated, 
it  is  generally  believed  that  it  was  in  that  region  that  he 
received  his  first  impressions  of  its  singular  beauty,  and 
that  thence  he  introduced  it  into  his  own  church  at  Milan, 
after  much  study  had  been  expended  in  reducing  it  to  a 
system  suitable  to  Western  ears.  Whether  the  chant  thus 
introduced  was  built  upon  the  "eight  modes"1  of  Greek 
music  or  not,  we  are  unable  to  say  with  certainty  ;  very 
likely  it  was.  Certain  it  is,  however,  that  his  system  was 
rather  intricate,  and  in  many  instances  far  above  the  com- 
pass of  ordinary  voices  ;  for  which  reason  it  was  deemed  ad- 
visable to  give  it  a  new  touching,  and  so  suit  it  to  the  capa- 
city of  all,  that  all  might  comply  with  the  wishes  of  the 
Church  in  singing  the  praises  of  God  together.  The  task 
of  doing  this  good  work  was  undertaken  by  Pope  Gregory 
the  Great,  who  also  established  a  regular  school  at  Rome  to 
see  that  his  modified  system  was  duly  observed  and  prac- 
tised everywhere.  And  this  is  the  origin  of  the  so-called 
Gregorian  Chant.  It  is  called  plain  from  its  great  sim- 
plicity, and  "canto  firmo"  by  the  Italians,  from  the  singu- 
Jar  majesty  that  pervades  it  throughout. 

As  to  the  precise  merits  of  the  Ambrosian  Chant  we  know 
but  little  now ;  whether  that  in  use  at  Milan  to-day  be  the 
same  as  that  used  in  the  fourth  century  we  leave  others  to 
determine.  Certain  it  is,  however,  that  the  ancient  chant 
was  full  of  majesty  and  divine  sweetness ;  this  we  have 

1  The  eight  modes  or  tones  of  the  Greek  music  were :  the  Dorian,  Hypodorian, 
Phrygian,  Soft-Hypophrygian,  Lydian,  Hypolydian,  Mixed-Lydian,  Eyperiastian. 
Each  of  these  was  distinguished  by  peculiar  characteristics,  such  as  toft,  tweet,  mar' 
tial,furicnu,  etc. 

Sacred  Music.  97 

from  the  illustrious  St.  Augustine,  whose  big  heart  melted 
into  tears  of  compunction  whenever  he  listened  to  its  so- 
lemn strains.  "  When  I  remember,"  says  he  in  his  Con- 
fessions, "  the  tears  which  I  shed  at  the  chants  of  thy 
Church  in  the  first  days  of  my  recovered  faith,  and  how  I 
am  still  moved  by  them — not,  indeed,  by  the  song,  but  by 
the  things  which  are  sung,  ...  I  acknowledge  the 
great  usefulness  of  this  institution." 

The  merits  of  the  Gregorian  Chant  are  known  to  all ;  and 
who  that  has  ever  heard  it  rendered  as  it  should  be  will  not 
say  that  it  has  a  divine  influence  over  the  soul  ?  If  St. 
Augustine  wept  upon  hearing  the  Ambrosian  Chant,  many 
more  recent  than  he  have  wept,  too,  upon  hearing  the  sim- 
ple but  soul-stirring  strains  of  the  pure  Gregorian.  The 
Venerable  Bede,  for  example,  tells  us  how  deeply  affected  St. 
Cuthbert  used  to  be  when  chanting  the  Preface,  so  much 
so  that  his  sobbing  could  be  heard  through  the  entire  con- 
gregation ;  and,  as  he  raised  his  hands  on  high  at  the 
r  Sursum  corda,"  his  singing  was  rather  a  sort  of  solemn 
moaning  than  anything  else  (Vita  S.  Cuthbert,  cap.  xvi.) 
The  renowned  Haydn  was  often  moved  to  tears  at  listen- 
ing to  the  children  of  the  London  charity  schools  sing  the 
psalms  together  in  unison  according  to  the  Gregorian  style  ; 
and  the  great  master  of  musicians  and  composers,  Mozart, 
went  so  far  as  to  say  that  he  would  rather  be  the  author  of 
the  Preface  and  Pater  Foster,  according  to  the  same  style, 
than  of  anything  he  had  ever  written.  These  are  but  a  few 
of  the  numerous  encomiums  passed  upon  this  sacred  chant 
by  men  who  were  so  eminently  qualified  to  constitute  them- 
selves judges. 

The  great  distinguishing  feature  of  the  Gregorian  Chant 
is  the  wonderful  simplicity,  combined  with  a  sort  of  divine 
majesty,  which  pervades  it  throughout,  and  which  no 
words  can  exactly  describe.     It  must  be  heard  to  be  appre- 

98  Sacred  Music  and  Musical  Instruments. 

dated.  Then,  again,  another  great  feature  that  it  possesses 
is  the  power  of  hiding  itself  behind  the  words,  so  as  to  render 
the  latter  perfectly  audible  to  the  congregation.  In  this  way 
it  is  made  a  most  solemn  kind  of  prayer,  so  very  different 
from  the  great  bulk  of  modern  compositions,  whose  entire 
drift  seems  to  be  to  drown  the  words  completely,  or  so  muti- 
late them  as  to  render  them  perfectly  indistinct  and  unin- 

For  many  years  Rome  preserved  this  sacred  chant  in  its 
original  purity,  and  watched  with  jealous  care  to  exclude 
from  it  everything  that  smacked  of  the  world's  music.  But, 
careful  as  Rome  was,  innovations  and  corruptions  set  in ;  so 
much  so  that,  after  a  few  years,  hardly  a  trace  of  Gregorian 
music  could  be  distinguished  in  what  was  once  the  pride  of 
the  Ohurch.  As  might  naturally  be  expected,  the  corruption 
began  in  France.  For  the  space  of  seventy  years  (from 
Pope  Clement  V.,  in  1309,  to  Pope  Gregory  XI.)  the 
Roman  pontiffs  resided  at  Avignon,  and,  as  was  reason- 
able to  expect,  the  papal  choir  was  composed  entirely 
of  French  performers.  They  treated  the  Gregorian  Chant 
just  as  they  pleased  ;  but  little  would  that  have  mat- 
tered had  it  not  been  for  the  fact  that  Pope  Gregory 
XI.,  upon  his  return  to  Rome,  brought  his  French 
choir  with  him  with  all  their  fantastic  vagaries.  The 
impression  made  at  Rome  by  the  efforts  of  this  musical 
body  was  of  the  most  disedifying  kind,  for  not  a  word 
could  be  heard  or  understood  of  all  that  they  sang.  So 
ridiculous  was  their  singing  that  when  Pope  Nicholas 
V.  asked  Cardinal  Capranica  what  he  thought  of  it, 
his  Eminence  humorously  replied :  "Well,  Holy  Father,  I 
compare  it  to  a  sackful  of  swine  squeaking  away;  they 
make  a  tremendous  noise,  but  not  a  word  is  articulated 

Church  music  went  on  in  this  way  until  about  the  time 

Sacred  Music.  99 

of  the  Council  of  Trent,  when  it  was  determined  to  ame- 
liorate it  or  banish  it  entirely  from  the  Church.  A  com- 
mittee of  cardinals  was  formed  by  Pope  Pius  IV.  for  the 
purpose  of  seeing  whether  it  was  possible  to  compose  a 
Mass  the  music  of  which  would  be  harmonious  and  the 
words  distinct  a  ad  intelligible.  St.  Charles  Borromeo  and 
Cardinal  Vitelozzi  were  among  the  number  selected  for 
the  important  task.  There  was  at  this  time  attached  to 
the  choral  staff  of  St.  Mary  Major  a  man  of  great  musi- 
cal renown  and  of  singular  originality.  To  him  the  com- 
mittee applied.  He  accepted  their  proposal  and  set  earn- 
estly to  work  at  writing  a  Mass  to  suit  their  taste.  He 
composed  two  off-hand  which  were  greatly  admired,  but  the 
third  was  the  climax  of  perfection.  It  was  simple,  har- 
monious, and  very  devotional.  Every  word  of  it  was  articu- 
lated distinctly.  It  was  produced  before  the  Pope  and  the 
College  of  Cardinals,  and  with  one  consentient  voice  all 
pronounced  in  favor  of  it.  Thus  the  music  of  the  Church 
was  saved.  The  person  who  figured  in  this  momentous 
juncture  was  the  celebrated  Palestrina,5  ever  since  known  as 
the  great  reformer  of  ecclesiastical  chant.  He  is  looked  up 
to  as  the  father  of  Church  harmony ;  and  his  great  Mass, 
denominated  "  Missa  Papas  Marcelli  "  (from  Pope  Marcellus 
II.,  a.d.  1554,  before  whom  it  was  sung),  will  ever  be  ven- 
erated as  one  of  his  greatest  and  happiest  efforts.  The 
Mass  is  performed  on  every  Holy  Saturday  in  the  Papal 
Chapel.  It  was  originally  in  eight  parts,  but  was  reduced 
by  Palestrina  himself  to  six.  The  other  great  reformers,  or 
rather  embellishers,  of  Church  music  were  Allegri,  author  of 
the  famous  "  Miserere  "  of  the  Sis  tine  Chapel ;  Pergolesi, 

*  His  real  name  was  Pierluigi  (Giovanni  Pierluigi),  but  he  generally  went  by  th« 
name  of  his  native  city,  Palestrina,  the  ancient  Prseneste,  in  Italy,  where  he  was  born 
in  1524.  His  death  took  place  in  1584,  and  he  was  buried  in  St.  Peter's.  St.  Philip 
Neri  attended  him  in  hU  last  niomenig, 

100  Sacred  Music  and  Musical  Instruments. 

author  of  the  inimitable  music  of  the  "  Stabat  Mater"  ;  and 
Mozart,  whose  renown  will  ever  be  known  the  world  over. 


That  the  Gregorian  Chant  was  at  its  introduction  per- 
formed without  the  aid  of  instruments  everybody  is  willing 
to  admit.  Instruments  are  not  in  use  to-day  with  the  Cis- 
tercians or  Carthusians,  nor  at  the  ancient  church  of  Lyons, 
in  France;  and  we  see  also  that  they  have  no  place  in  the 
service  of  the  Oriental  Church,  if  we  except  the  few  sorry 
ones  employed  by  the  Abyssinians  and  Copts,  of  which 
Pococke  speaks  in  his  Travels  m  Egypt.  From  the  papal 
choir,  too,  all  instruments  are  excluded  save  a  trumpet  or 
two,  which  sound  a  delicate  harmony  at  the  Elevation. 
This  choir,  which  is  justly  esteemed  the  most  select  in 
existence,  always  accompanies  the  Holy  Father  whenever  he 
sings  Solemn  High  Mass  in  any  of  the  churches  of  Rome. 
Its  members  are  strictly  forbidden  to  sing  anywhere  else, 
and  none  but  male  voices  are  admitted  among  them. 

The  Organ. — It  is  generally  believed  that  the  introduction 
of  the  organ  into  the  service  of  the  Church  was  the  work  of 
Pope  Vitalian,  or  at  least  that  it  happened  during  his  pon- 
tificate, from  a.d.  657  to  672.  The  first  which  appeared  in 
France  was  that  which  the  Emperor  Constantine  Coprony- 
mus  sent  in  the  year  757  to  King  Pepin,  father  of  Charle- 
magne. This  was  placed  in  the  Church  of  St.  Corneille,  in 
Compiegne.  At  first  organs  were  of  very  small  compass, 
but  not  many  years  after  their  introduction  they  assumed 
larger  proportions.  This  may  fairly  be  gathered  from  an 
expression  of  St.  Aldhelm,  who  in  his  poem,  "  De  Laudibus 
Virginitatis,"  tells  the  admirer  of  music  that  if  he  de- 
spises the  more  humble  sound  of  the  harp  he  must  listen 
to  the  thousand  voices  of  the  organ.     The  ancient  cathedral 

Musical  Instruments.  101 

of  Winchester,  in  England,  had  a  monster  organ,  which  could 
be  heard  at  an  incredible  distance.  Its  sound,  we  are  told, 
resembled  the  roaring  of  thunder ;  and  so  huge  was  it  that 
it  required  seventy  stalwart  men  to  feed  it  with  air.  It 
had  four  hundred  pipes,  twenty-six  feeders,  and  a  double 
row  of  keys.  So  famous  was  it  that  it  formed  the  themo 
of  many  of  the  poetic  effusions  of  the  day.  Wolston,  the 
monk,  wrote  much  about  it. 

Other  Musical  Instruments.  —  Besides  the  organ,  the 
Anglo-Saxon  Church  employed  a  variety  of  other  wind 
instruments,  foremost  among  which  was  a  sort  of  hoop 
sheathed  in  silver  plates,  having  a  number  of  bells  hung 
around  it.  These  were  generally  prescribed  for  processions 
out  of  church,  but  they  were  used  also  in  the  regular  choir 

In  closing  our  chapter  on  Church  music  we  cannot  resist 
calling  the  attention  of  the  reader  to  the  great  care  our 
forefathers  took  to  see  that  nothing  should  ever  be  sung  in 
divine  service  that  was  not  of  the  purest  and  gravest  nature. 
To  carry  this  out  the  better,  some  of  the  greatest  nobles  of 
the  land  would  now  and  then  volunteer  their  services  and 
take  an  humble  part  with  the  rest  of  the  choir  in  leading 
the  sacred  chant  on  Sundays  and  festivals.  What  a  glo- 
rious and  edifying  thing  it  was,  for  instance,  to  see 
Richard  L,  Cceur  de  Lion — the  Lion-hearted  King,  as 
he  was  familiarly  called — take  part  in  the  choir  of  his 
own  chapel  and  sing  from  the  beginning  to  the  end  of 
service  !  Yes,  that  mighty  warrior,  who  spread  terror 
throughout  the  East  by  the  formidable  army  he  led  to 
Palestine  in  defence  of  the  Holy  Land  on  the  occasion  of 
the  Third  Crusade,  put  himself  on  a  level  with  his  humblest 
subjects  in  singing  the  praises  of  God.  "  He  would  go  up 
and  down  the  choir,"  says  Radulf,  Abbot  of  Coggeshall, 
"  and  arouse  all  the  members  to  sing  out  and  sing  together  ; 

102  Sacred  Music  and  Musical  Instruments. 

and  he  would  raise  his  hands  aloft,  and  take  the  greatest 
delight  in  directing  the  music  on  the  principal  solemnities. " 
(For  the  principal  matter  of  this  chapter  on  Church  Mu- 
sic and  Musical  Instruments  we  are  indebted  to  the  follow- 
ing works  :  Divina  Psalmodia,  by  Cardinal  Bona  ;  Antiqui- 
ties of  the  Anglo-Saxon  Church,  vol.  ii.,  by  Lingard; 
Church  of  Our  Fathers,  vol.  iii.  part  2,  and  Hierurgia,  by 
Dr.  Rock  ;  Holy  Week  in  the  Vatican,  by  Canon  Pope  ;  and 
4m  article  in  the  Dublin  Review  for  1836,  denominated 
u  Ecclesiastical  Music."  The  rest  we  have  found  in  places 
which  we  cannot  now  recall  to  mind.  We  have  been  care- 
ful, however,  to  say  nothing  at  random. ) 


As  we  sball  have  occasion  to  refer  frequently  in  the  course 
;f  this  work  to  several  rites  that  do  not  accord  in  everything 
with  that  which  is  strictly  termed  Roman,  we  have  thought 
it  well  to  give  the  reader  a  general  survey  of  them  here,  in 
order  to  make  our  remarks  hereafter  more  intelligible  and 
to  save  unnecessary  repetition. 

The  learned  Cardinal  Bona,  in  speaking  of  the  different 
rites  within  the  Church,  compares  them  to  the  dress  of  the 
spouse  in  the  Canticle  of  Canticles,  which  abounded  with 
such  a  variety  of  colors.  At  one  time  there  was  hardly  a 
locality  which  had  not  some  peculiarity  of  its  own  in  cele- 
brating the  Holy  Sacrifice.  This,  of  course,  was  nothing 
touching  the  substance  of  the  Sacrifice  itself,  nor,  indeed, 
could  it  be  considered  a  change  in  the  general  norma  of  the 
Mass.  It  was  rather  "prater  Missam,"  as  theologians  would 
say,  than  "contra  Missam."  It  was  some  embellishment  or 
other  in  the  ceremonies  which  was  not  prescribed  in  the 
ordinary  rules  laid  down  for  the  celebration  of  divine  ser- 
vice. But  as  these  peculiarities  often  gave  rise  to  much  dis- 
sension, and  tended  in  some  cases  to  the  formation  of  na- 
tional churches,  the  Holy  See  thought  well  to  direct  imme- 
diate attention  to  them  and  stay  their  rapid  progress.  The 
matter  was  taken  in  hand  by  the  Sacrosanct  Council  of 
Trent,  under  the  auspices  of  Pope  Pius  V.  His  Holiness 
issued  a  decree  to  the  effect  that  all  those  rites  which  had 


104  The  Varying  Rites  within  the  Cliurch. 

not  been  approved  of  by  Rome  from  time  immemorial,  or 
which  could  not  prove  an  antiquity  of  two  hundred  years, 
should  be  abolished  then  and  for  ever.  The  result  was  that 
only  three  orders  could  prove  an  antiquity  of  two  hundred 
years — viz.,  the  Carthusians,  Carmelites,  and  Dominicans— 
and  only  two  of  the  other  class  could  show  that  they  had 
been  approved  of  from  time  immemorial — viz.,  the  Mozara* 
bics  and  Ambrosians  or  Milanese.  All  these  were  allowed 
to  stand  and  retain  their  own  peculiar  ceremonies  and  litur* 
gical  customs,  but  the  rest  were  abolished  at  once.  Some 
of  the  French  primatial  churches,  such  as  that  of  Lyons,  and 
one  or  two  others  throughout  Germany  and  Naples,  were 
permitted  to  retain  some  laudable  customs  of  a  minor  na- 
ture ;  but  as  these  did  not  constitute  what  would  be  techni- 
cally called  a  rite,  we  shall  give  them  but  a  passing  notice. 


This  religious  body,  so  called  from  La  Chartreuse,  near 
Grenoble,  in  France,  the  wild  valley  in  which  their  first  monas- 
tery was  built,  was  founded  in  the  year  1084  by  St.  Bruno,  a 
priest  of  Cologne.  It  is  regarded  as  the  strictest  order  in  the 
Church,  and  is  the  only  one  which  a  member  from  one  of 
the  mendicant  orders  can  join  as  being  of  a  higher  order  of 
perfection  than  his  own.  It  has  as  its  device  a  cross  sur- 
mounting a  globe,  with  the  inscription,  "  Stat  crux  dum 
volvitur  orbis  " — that  is,  "  The  cross  stands  as  long  as  the 
earth  moves."  In  England  they  are  called  the  "Charter- 
House  "  Monks,  a  corruption  of  Chartreuse.  Their  habit  is 
entirely  white,  but  abroad  they  wear  over  it  a  black  cowl, 
One  strange  and  rare  privilege  enjoyed  by  the  nuns  of  their 
order  is  that,  at  the  solemn  moment  of  making  their  vows, 
they  put  on  a  maniple  and  stole,  and  are  allowed  to  sing  the 
Epistle  in  Solemn  High  Mass  (Eomsee,  iv.  356,  note).   They 

Carthusians.  105 

use  no  musical  instruments  whatever  in  their  service,  but 
sing  everything  according  to  the  pure  Gregorian  style. 

The  peculiarities  of  their  Mass  are  as  follows  :  They  put 
the  wine  and  water  in  the  chalice  at  the  beginning,  and  say 
the  introductory  psalm  and  Confiteor,  not  at  the  centre,  aa 
we  do,  but  at  the  Gospel  side,  with  face  towards  the  altar. 
Their  form  of  confession  is  much  shorter  than  ours,  and 
instead  of  saying  the  "  Oramus  te,  Domine,"  when  the} 
ascend  the  altar-steps,  they  say  a  Pater  and  Ave,  and  then 
sign  themselves  with  the  cross.  They  say  the  "  Gloria  in 
excelsis  "  at  the  Epistle  corner,  where  the  book  is,  and  turn 
round  in  the  same  place  to  say  the  "Dominus  vobiscum." 
They  kiss  the  margin  of  the  missal  after  the  Gospel  instead 
of  the  text  itself,  and  only  make  a  profound  bow  instead  of 
a  genuflection  at  the  "  Et  homo  f actus  est  "  of  the  Creed. 
In  fact,  at  no  part  of  the  entire  Mass  do  they  touch  the 
ground  with  the  knee  when  they  make  a  reverence,  as  we  do. 
They  bless  both  water  and  wine  by  one  single  cross  at  the 
Offertory,  and  make  the  oblation  of  Host  and  chalice  one 
joint  act  by  placing  the  paten  and  the  large  bread  on  the 
mouth  of  the  latter.  Erom  the  beginning  of  the  Canon  to 
the  "Hanc  igitur  "  they  stretch  out  their  arms  in  such  a 
manner  as  to  exhibit  the  form  of  a  cross,  and  at  the  Conse- 
cration they  elevate  the  chalice  only  a  few  inches  from  the 
altar,  never  high  enough  to  be  seen  by  the  people,  just  as  we 
do  at  the  "  Omnis  honor  et  gloria"  before  the  "  Pater  nos- 
ter."  After  consecration  they  extend  their  hands  again  in 
form  of  a  cross  until  the  "  Supplices  te  rogamus,"  when 
they  bow  and  cross  one  upon  the  other. 

At  the  end  of  Mass  they  do  not  bless  the  people,  as  we  do, 
nor  say  the  Gospel  of  St.  John,  but  come  down  and  return 
to  the  sacristy  the  moment  they  have  recited  the  "  Placeat." 
A  few  of  their  other  peculiarities  will  be  noticed  throughout 
this  work. 

106  The  Varying  Rites  within  the  Church. 


This  order,  so  called  from  Carmel,  in  Palestine,  where 
Elias,  the  holy  prophet,  dwelt  in  a  cave,  owes  its  origin  prin- 
cipally to  Berthold,  a  monk  and  priest  of  Calabria,  who  with 
a  few  companions  erected  in  1156  some  huts  on  the  heights 
of  Mt.  Carmel.  The  Carmelites  themselves  claim  Elias  as 
their  founder. 

The  peculiarities  of  their  manner  of  saying  Mass  are  these : 
They  recite  the  psalm  "  Judica  me,  Deus,"  on  their  way  to 
the  altar,  and  not  standing  in  front  of  it,  as  we  do  ;  and,  like 
the  Carthusians,  pour  water  and  wine  into  the  chalice  be- 
fore the  beginning  of  Mass.  On  the  greater  festivals  of  the 
year  they  repeat  the  "Introit"  three  separate  times;  on 
other  occasions  only  twice,  as  with  ourselves.  The  moment 
they  uncover  the  chalice  at  the  Offertory  they  make  the 
sign  of  the  cross  over  the  bread  and  wine,  in  the  name  o! 
the  Father,  and  of  the  Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost ;  then 
they  make  the  oblation  of  both  Host  and  chalice  under  one 
form  of  prayer — viz.,  ' i  Suscipe  Sancta  Trinitas  " — which  we 
are  accustomed  to  say  after  the  oblation  has  been  finished  ; 
but  their  prayer  has  an  addition  to  it  that  ours  has  not. 
They  say  before  the  "  Secreta  ":  "  Domine,  exaudi  orationem 
meam,  et  clamor  meus  ad  te  veniat."  At  the  "Hanc  igi- 
tur "  they  incline  to  the  altar  and  remain  in  that  posture 
until  the  "  Quam  oblationem."  They  extend  their  arms  in 
the  form  of  a  cross  from  the  time  they  begin  the  "  Unde  et 
memores  "  until  they  reach  the  part  at  which  the  crosses  are 
to  be  made.  After  the  last  of  the  three  prayers  preceding 
Communion  they  say  (in  Latin,  of  course)  :  "Hail,  Salva- 
tion of  the  world,  Word  of  the  Father,  Sacred  Host,  Living 
Flesh,  Deity  Complete,  True  Man."  In  saying  the  "Do- 
mine, non  sum  dignus,"  they  bow  the  knee  a  little  and 
strike  the  breast  as  we  do.     After  having  blessed  the  people 

Dominicans.  107 

they  recite  the  "  Salve  Regina,"  with  its  responses  and 
prayer,  for  which,  in  Paschal  time,  they  substitute  the  "  Re- 
gina  Coeli."  After  the  Gospel  of  St.  John  they  say,  fl  Per 
evangelica  dicta,"  etc.,  as  we  do  at  the  first  Gospel,  and  then, 
covering  their  heads  with  their  cowl,  return  to  the  sacristy 
reciting  the  "Te  Deum." 


The  Dominicans  are  so  called  from  St.  Dominic,  a  Spaniard 
by  birth,  who  founded  them  in  the  year  1215.  They  are 
very  generally  known  by  the  name  of  Friars  Preachers  from 
their  peculiar  mission.  In  England  their  general  appella- 
tion is  the  Black  Friars,  on  account  of  their  wearing  an 
overdress  of  a  black  color ;  when  at  home  their  habit  is 
entirely  white.  Throughout  France  their  familiar  designa- 
tion is  Jacobites,  from  the  fact  that  the  principal  house  of 
their  order  in  Paris  was  first  known  by  the  name  of  St. 
James,  which  in  Latin  is  Jacobus. 

Like  the  Carmelites  and  Carthusians,  the  Dominicans  put 
the  water  and  wine  into  the  chalice  before  they  begin  Mass. 
They  do  not  say  the  "  Judica  me,  Deus,"  but  recite  instead 
of  it  certain  verses  beginning  with  "Confitemini  Domino 
quoniam  bonus."  They  say  the  opening  words  of  the  "  Glo- 
ria in  excelsis  "  at  the  middle  of  the  altar,  but  return  to  the 
book  at  the  Epistle  side  to  finish  the  rest  of  it.  Here  also 
they  say  the  "Dominus  vobiscum."  They  observe  some- 
what similar  ceremonies  in  reciting  the  Credo.  First  they 
say  "  Credo  in  unum  Deum"  at  the  middle  ;  then  they  return 
to  the  missal  at  the  Gospel  side,  and  continue  reciting  it 
there  until  the  "  Incarnatus  est,"  when  they  go  to  the 
middle  again,  and  there,  spreading  out  the  anterior  part  of 
the  chasuble  on  the  altar,  kneel  so  as  to  touch  the  ground 
at  the  "Homo  factus  est."  They  extend  the  chasuble  in 
like  manner  whenever  the  "  Flecbamus  genua"  is  to  be  said. 

108  The  Varying  Rites  within  the  Church. 

After  the  "  Homo  f  actus  est "  they  return  and  finish  the 
Credo  at  the  book.  They  read  the  Offertorium  at  the  Gos- 
pel side,  after  the  manner  of  a  collect,  and  make  the  obla- 
tion of  the  Host  and  chalice  as  the  two  fore-mentioned  or- 
ders do.  After  the  Gospel  of  St.  John  they  make  the  sign 
of  the  cross  upon  themselves,  and  then  go  to  the  middle, 
where  they  fold  up  the  corporal  and  put  it  in  the  burse, 
and  afterwards  return  to  the  sacristy  with  the  amice  cov- 
ering their  head  as  at  the  beginning  of  Mass.  They  recite 
the  "  Benedicite  "  after  Mass,  as  we  do. 


The  ancient  Spanish  Liturgy  introduced  by  St.  Torquatus 
and  his  companions  resembled  the  Koman  in  all  essential 
points.  When  Spain  was  invaded  by  the  Suevi,  Alani, 
Vandals,  and  Visigoths  (fifth  century),  all  of  whom  were 
Arian,  its  Liturgy  and  the  Arian  Liturgy  commingled,  and 
ran  hand-in-hand  for  many  years ;  and  from  the  fact  that 
a  constant  intercourse  was  kept  up  between  the  Spanish 
Church  and  that  of  Constantinople,  the  headquarters  of  the 
East  in  the  beginning  of  the  fifth  century,  several  Greek 
customs,  as  well  as  those  that  were  rank  with  Arianism, 
entered  the  Spanish  Liturgy,  so  that  it  stood  much  in  need 
of  renovation.  In  the  year  537  Profuturus,  Archbishop  of 
Galicia,  wrote  for  advice  in  the  matter  to  Pope  Vigilius, 
then  the  Sovereign  Pontiff.  His  Holiness  sent  him  the 
Canon  of  the  Mass  according  to  the  Roman  norma,  to- 
gether with  a  copy  of  the  entire  Mass  of  Easter,  in  order 
that  he  might  shape  his  new  Liturgy  by  them  Towards 
the  end  of  the  sixth  century  the  Visigoths  were  converted 
to  the  faith,  and  then  the  Liturgy  of  Spain  assumed  its 
most  important  appearance.  In  the  fourth  Council  of 
Toledo,  a.d.  633,  the  Spanish  bishops,  at  whose  head  was 
St.  Isidore  of  Seville,  resolved  to  banish  from  the  country 

Mozarabic  Liturgy.  109 

every  foreign  rite,  and  have  but  one  Liturgy  throughout  the 
land.  From  the  fact  that  St.  Isidore  headed  this  work,  he 
is  generally  looked  upon  as  the  author  of  the  Liturgy  of 
Spain.  The  Liturgy  so  formed,  and  called  by  the  name  of 
Gothic,  was  used  in  Spain  without  being  in  any  way  in- 
fluenced by  the  reform  of  Pope  Gregory  the  Great.  A  new 
state  of  things  set  in  towards  the  beginning  of  the  eighth 
century,  when  the  land  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Moors.1 
Those  who  yielded  to  the  Moorish  yoke  were  called 
h  Mostarabuna,"  an  Arabic  participle  meaning  "  mixed 
with  Arabs,"3  and  this  Liturgy  was  denominated  accord- 
ingly Muzarabic  or  Mozarabic.  During  the  dominion  of 
the  Moors,  which  lasted  nearly  eight  hundred  years,  the 
Liturgy  kept  constantly  changing  and  receiving  new  corrup- 
tions, so  that  at  the  Synod  of  San  Juan  de  la  Pena,  held 
under  the  auspices  of  Pope  Alexander  II.  (1601),  Sancho 
Ramirez,  King  of  Aragon,  caused  the  Gregorian  or  Roman 
Rite  to  supersede  the  Gothic.  The  Council  of  Burgos  in 
1085  issued  a  solemn  proclamation  to  this  effect.  It  was  no 
easy  matter,  however,  to  effect  the  introduction  of  the  Gre- 
gorian Rite  entirely,  for  people  cling  with  wonderful  tenacity 
to  ancient  customs.  Some  were  for  it,  others  against  it. 
To  settle  the  matter,  strangely  enough,  an  appeal  was  made 
to  the  "judgment  of  God."  A  powerful  fire  was  accord- 
ingly made,  and  a  copy  of  each  Liturgy  cast  into  it ;  which- 
ever came  out  unhurt  was  to  be  the  Liturgy  of  the  land. 
The   Gregorian  was   thrown  in  first,  but   scarcely  had   it 

1  The  Moore,  or  Mauri,  were  the  people  of  Mauritania,  or  Morocco,  in  the  north  of 
Africa.  They  embraced  Mahometanism  in  the  seventh  century  at  the  instigation  of 
their  Arabian  conquerors,  and  became  so  identified  with  the  latter  in  everything  that 
Arab  and  Moor  were  synonymous  terms.  They  were  finally  driven  from  Spain  by 
Ferdinand  and  Isabella  in  1492. 

*  The  Arabs  divide  their  people  into  three  classes  :  first,  those  called  "el  Arab  el 
Arabeh  "— -i.e.,  pure  Arabs  ;  second,  "el  Arab  el  Mota1  arribeh,"  or  those  who  speak 
and  know  the  language  ;  and,  third,  "  el  Arab  el  Mosta1  ribeh  "—that  is,  mixed  or  natu- 
ralized Arabs. 

110  The  Varying  Rites  within  the  Church. 

touched  the  flames  when  it  rebounded  and  fell  uninjured  by 
the  side  of  the  fire.  The  Mozarabic  was  then  cast  in,  and, 
singular  to  behold,  it  remained  intact  in  the  midst  of  the 
flames  !  As  both  liturgies  were  miraculously  preserved,  it 
was  decided  that  both  were  equally  good,  and  that  conse- 
quently each  should  hold  a  place  in  Spain.  Predominance, 
however,  was  soon  given  to  the  Gregorian,  so  that  it  became 
the  Liturgy  of  the  whole  land,  with  the  sole  exception  of 
the  city  of  Toledo,  where  the  Mozarabic  was  employed  in 
six  churches — viz.,  St.  Justa,  St.  Luke,  St.  Eulalia,  St. 
Mark,  St.  Sebastian,  and  St.  Torquatus ;  but  as  time  wore 
on  the  Mozarabic  was  even  superseded  in  these,  and  solely 
confined  to  the  cathedral  chapel.  Cardinal  Ximenes,  how- 
ever, by  very  earnest  entreaties,  whilst  Archbishop  of  Toledo, 
caused  it  to  be  readopted  in  five  of  the  churches  mentioned, 
and  instituted  as  its  custodians  what  he  termed  "  Sodales 
Mozarabes,"  a  company  of  thirteen  priests,  to  whom  he 
assigned  the  Chapel  of  Corpus  Christi.  The  rite  is  yet  kept 
up  in  these  places,  but  nowhere  else  (see  Life  of  Cardinal 
Ximenes,  by  Hefele ;  Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  219  ;  Kozma, 
157 ;  and  Gavantus,  Thesaur.  Rit.,  23).  We  shall  have 
occasion  to  refer  to  the  peculiarities  of  the  Mozarabic  Rite 
throughout  our  work. 


The  Ambrosian  Eite,8  so  called  from  St.  Ambrose,  Bishop 
of  Milan,  a.d.  374,  claims  a  very  high  antiquity.  Accord- 
ing to  the  Milanese  themselves,  its  main  structure  is  the 
work  of  St.  Barnabas,  Apostle  ;  but  as  it  received  a  fresh 

•  Strictly  speaking,  neither  the  Mozarabic  nor  Ambrosian  Rite  can  be  called  a 
liturgy.  The  latter  name,  taking  it  in  its  general  acceptation,  only  applies  when  the 
language  used  and  the  ceremonies  employed  are  different  from  those  of  Rome  ;  but  as 
there  is  no  difference  in  either  case  here  mentioned  in  language,  and  but  very  little  in 
ceremonies,  the  term  rite  is  more  proper  than  liturgy. 

Ainbrosian  Liturgy.  11X 

touching-up  at  the  hands  of  St.  Ambrose,  it  is  generally 
ascribed  to  him  and  called  by  his  name.  Many  attempts 
have  been  made  to  abolish  this  rite  altogether  and  substi- 
tute the  Eoman  in  its  stead,  but  all  to  no  purpose.  The 
Milanese  cling  to  it  with  a  dying  man's  grasp,  and  the  Holy 
See,  to  choose  the  less  of  two  evils,  and  make  itself  all 
to  all  where  nothing  trenches  upon  faith,  permits  them 
"to  abound  in  their  own  sense."  In  the  year  1497  Pope 
Alexander  VI.  solemnly  confirmed  its  use,  and  ever  since 
then  it  has  been  strictly  adhered  to  at  Milan  ;  not,  however, 
in  all  the  churches,  for  some  even  now  follow  the  Roman 
Rite,  but  in  a  few  belonging  to  the  diocese  (Kozma,  156). 
St.  Charles  Borromeo  did  much  to  uphold  this  rite  during 
his  time  (1590).  Some  of  the  peculiarities  of  the  rite  are 
as  follows  :  It  allows  the  "  Agnus  Dei "  only  in  Masses  for 
the  dead.  The  text  of  Scripture  used  is  not  that  followed 
by  the  Roman  Rite,  but  one  of  those  versions  in  use  before 
St.  Jerome's  Vulgate  was  published.  On  Easter  Sunday 
two  Masses  are  prescribed,  one  for  the  newly  baptized, 
the  other  of  the  day  itself.  Throughout  the  whole  of  Lent 
there  is  no  Mass  on  Friday  of  any  kind  (this  was  an  or- 
dinance of  St.  Charles  Borromeo).  On  Sundays  and  feasts 
of  great  solemnity  a  lesson  from  the  Old  Testament  is  read 
before  the  Epistle,  together  with  some  versicles,  after  the 
mariner  of  our  Gradual.  Immediately  before  consecration 
the  priest  saying  Mass  goes,  according  to  this  rite,  to  the 
Epistle  corner  of  the  altar  and  washes  his  hands  in  silence. 
The  other  peculiarities  will  be  noticed  as  we  go  on  (see 
Institutiones  Liturgicce,  vol.  ii.  p.  300,  by  Maringola; 
Cardinal  Bona,   218  ;    Gavantus,  22  ;    Kozma,   156). 

We  mention,  in  passing,  that  according  to  this  rite  the 
Sacrament  of  Baptism  is  administered  by  immersion,  and 
not  by  infusion,  as  with  all  who  follow  the  Roman   Rite. 

112  The  Varying  Rites  within  the  Church. 


We  devote  here  but  a  passing  notice  to  this  rite,  for  the 
reason  that  it  never  made  any  headway,  if  we  except  a  few 
ceremonial  embellishments,  after  the  time  of  Charlemagne 
—that  is,  after  the  ninth  century.  In  one  of  the  cities  of 
France — viz.,  the  ancient  Lugdunum  of  the  Romans,  now 
Lyons— a  few  peculiar  liturgic  customs  are  yet  kept  up, 
such  as  reading  the  Gospel  from  the  ambo,  and  singing 
without  the  aid  of  the  organ  or  any  musical  instrument 
whatever.  The  Lyonese  ascribe  the  introduction  of  their 
rite  into  Gaul  to  St.  Irenaeus,  Bishop  of  their  city  in  the 
early  part  of  the  third  century  (see  Recherches  sur  V Aboli- 
tion de  la  Liturgie  Antique  dans  VEglise  de  Lyon,  by  M. 
De  Conny ;  Kozma,  157 ;  Cardinal  Bona,  Divina  Psal- 
modia,  p.  559). 



According  to  the  best  authorities  the  word  altar  is 
formed  from  the  Latin  alius,  high,  and  ara,  a  mound  or 
elevation.  It  is  the  sacred  table  upon  which  the  Holy  Sac- 
rifice of  the  Mass  is  offered. 

According  to  rule  it  ought  to  be  about  three  and  a  half 
feet  high,  three  feet  wide,  and  six  and  a  half  feet  long ;  and 
to  denote  the  perfection  of  our  Lord,  whom  it  is  made  to 
represent  in  sacred  symbolism,  it  should  be  solid  through- 
out (Bouvry,  ii.  223).  Before  Mass  may  be  celebrated  on 
it,  it  must  first  be  consecrated  by  the  bishop. 


According  to  the  present  discipline  of  the  Church  the 
Altar  must  be  made  of  stone,  or  at  least  that  part  of  it 
upon  which  the  chalice  and  its  appurtenances  are  placed. 
When  not  entirely  of  stone  the  rubrics  require  that  an  ap- 
pendage called  an  antipendium  should  hang  always  in 
front  of  it  to  cover  its  anterior  surface. 

In  ancient  times,  especially  during  the  days  of  persecu- 
tion, altars  were  for  the  most  part  made  of  wood  ;  in  fact,  it 
would  have  been  loss  of  time  and  useless  to  make  them  of 
any  more  durable  material,  for  the  reason  that  the  pagans 
might  have  desecrated  and  destroyed  them  at  any  moment ; 
but  after  peace  was  restored  to  the  Church  the  costliest 
materials  sometimes  entered  into  their  composition. 


It  is  the  general  opinion  of  liturgical  writers  that  our 


114  The  Altar. 

Divine  Lord  instituted  the  Blessed  Eucharist  on  an  ordi- 
nary wooden  table,  such  as  the  Jews  in  his  day  were  wont 
to  eat  from. 

According  to  Martene  (Be  Antiquis  Eccl.  Ritibus)  there 
are  yet  preserved  at  Rome  two  wooden  altars,  one  in  the 
Churck  of  St.  John  Lateran,  the  other  in  that  of  St. 
Pudentiana,  upon  which  St.  Peter  used  to  say  Mass  during 
his  Roman  pontificate.  The  one  in  the  latter-named  church 
is  now  almost  eaten  up  with  age,  but  is  preserved  from  utter 
destruction  by  being  covered  over  with  a  stone  casing.  The 
following  inscription  appears  upon  it :  "  In  hoc  altari  Sanc- 
tus  Petrus  pro  vivis  et  defunctis  ad  augendam  fidelium  mul- 
titudinem,  Corpus  et  Sanguinem  Domini  offerebat " — that 
is,  "  Upon  this  altar  St.  Peter  used  to  offer  the  Body  and 
Blood  of  our  Lord,  in  behalf  of  the  living  and  the  dead,  for 
increasing  the  number  of  the  faithful." 

Pope  Silvester  (314)  is  said  to  have  been  the  first  who 
made  stone  altars  obligatory ;  but  some  count  this  as  doubt- 
ful, both  because  the  decree  so  ordaining  cannot  be  found 
among  those  attributed  to  this  Pope,  and  because  it  is  a 
well-known  fact  that  altars  of  wood  existed  and  were  used 
after  his  time  (Merati,  118).  This  much,  however,  is  cer- 
tain :  that  the  Council  of  Epaon,  held  in  the  year  517,  for- 
bade any  altars  except  those  of  stone  to  be  consecrated.  The 
same  prohibition  may  be  seen  in  several  of  the  capitularies 
of  Charlemagne  (ibid.) 


During  the  reign  of  Constantine  the  Great  (from  a.d.  312 
to  336),  who  published  many  edicts  in  favor  of  the  Chris- 
tians, stately  altars  of  gold  and  silver,  and  sometimes  even 
of  precious  stones,  were  to  be  seen  in  several  cities  of  the 
East  and  West.  The  emperor  himself  had  caused  to  be 
erected  at  Rome,  in  the  basilica  called  after  his  name— now 

Altars  of  Gold,  Silver,  and  Precious  Stones.       115 

the  Church  of  St.  John  Lateran — seven  different  altars  of  the 
purest  silver  (Kozma,  29,  note  4).  The  Empress  Pulcheria 
bestowed  upon  the  great  basilica  of  Constantinople  an  altar 
formed  of  gold  and  gems  (ibid.)  There  is  still  to  be  seen 
at  Chartres,  in  France,  a  very  ancient  altar  made  of  jasper 
(ibid. ) 

But  the  greatest  of  all  altars  was  that  of  the  famous 
Church  of  Holy  Wisdom1  at  Constantinople,  justly  regarded 
as  one  of  the  wonders  of  the  age.  Everything  that  was  pre- 
cious on  sea  or  land  was  purchased  and  brought  together  to 
form  this  singular  altar.  Gold,  silver,  and  the  richest  metals, 
with  every  variety  of  precious  stones,  were  collected  by  the 
Emperor  Justinian  and  used  in  its  erection.  The  most  ex- 
perienced artisans  of  the  day  were  employed  in  superintend- 
ing its  construction,  and  neither  labor  nor  expense  was 
spared  to  make  it  perfect  of  its  kind.  When  finished,  the 
following  inscription  appeared  upon  it  :  "  We,  thy  servants, 
Justinian  and  Theodora,  offer  unto  thee,  0  Christ !  thine 
own  gifts  out  of  thine  own,  which  we  beseech  thee  favorably 
to  accept,  0  Son  and  Word  of  God  !    who  wast  made  flesh 

1  This  church,  from  the  fact  that  it  is  generally  called  Sancta  Sophia,  is  often 
falsely  rendered  Saint  Sophy,  by  those  who  think  that  it  was  dedicated  under  the  name 
of  some  such  saint ;  whereas  it  was  really  dedicated  to  Holy  Wisdom,  in  Greek  "*A-yia 
<ro<f»ta,"  but  "  Sancta  Sophia  "  in  Latin.  This  world-renowned  church  was  first  built  by 
Constantine  the  Great  in  the  year  325.  The  second  of  the  same  name,  and  on  the  same 
foundation,  was  built  by  Constantius  in  359.  Theodosius  the  Great  built  a  third  one 
on  the  same  site  in  415.  The  fourth  and  last  was  the  temple  of  Justinian.  It  was  com- 
menced at  eight  o'clock  a.m.,  February  23,  a.  d.  532  The  architects  were  Anthemius  of 
Tralles  and  Isidore  of  Miletus,  both  eminent  mechanicians.  Artists  from  the  four 
quarters  of  the  globe  were  invited  to  take  part  in  its  construction,  and  foremost  among 
the  workmen,  we  are  told,  was  the  emperor  himself,  girt  in  a  tunic  and  equipped  with 
hammer  and  trowel.  Prom  the  date  of  its  commencement  to  its  completion  was  five 
years,  ten  months,  and  three  days.  When  Justinian  saw  it  finished,  and  beheld  what  a 
magnificent  edifice  it  was,  he  cried  out  in  a  transport  of  admiration,  "I  have  con- 
quered thee,  O  Solomon  !  Glory  be  to  God,  who  hath  accounted  me  worthy  of  such  a 
work  !  "  In  1453,  when  Constantinople  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Turks,  this  famous 
church  was  converted  into  a  Mahometan  Jami,  or  greater  mosque,  and  most  of  its  em- 
bellishments, but  not  all,  were  destroyed  (Neale,  Holy  Eastern  Church,  i.  235,  23G ; 
Catholic  World,  August,  1865  ;  Gibbon,  Decline  and  Fall  of  the  Horn.  Emp.,  viL  1171. 

116  The  Altar. 

and  crucified  for  our  sakes  ;  keep  us  in  the  true  orthodox 
faith  ;  and  this  empire  which  thou  hast  committed  to  our 
trust  augment  and  preserve  to  thine  owxi  glory,  through  the 
intercession  of  the  Holy  Mother  of  God  and  Virgin  Mary  " 
(Martene,  Be  Antiquis  Ecclesice  Ritobus,  art.  "  Altare"). 


The  precise  symbolism  of  the  altar  is  that  it  denotes 
Christ  our  Lord,  in  accordance  with  what  St.  Paul  says  in 
his  first  Epistle  to  the  Corinthians  :  "  They  drank  of  the 
spiritual  rock  which  followed  them,  and  the  rock  was 
Christ "  (Bouvry,  ii.  222).  According  to  Venerable  Bede, 
the  altar  is  the  body  of  Christ,  or  all  the  saints  in  whom  a 
divine  lire  ever  burns,  consuming  all  that  is  flesh. 


Up  to  the  fifteenth  century  the  right  and  left  of  the  altar 
were  settled  by  the  position  of  the  priest  standing  before  it. 
The  part  which  was  opposite  his  right  hand  was  the  altar's 
right,  and  that  opposite  his  left  the  altar's  left.  This  or- 
dinance is  now  exactly  the  reverse,  for  the  designations  of 
right  and  left  are  taken  from  the  Crucifix,  and  not  from  the 
position  of  the  priest ;  so  that  the  right  of  the  altar  now  is 
the  part  to  the  right  of  the  Crucifix — that  is,  the  Gospel 
side  ;  and  the  left,  the  left  of  the  Crucifix,  or  Epistle  side. 
According  to  Father  Le  Brun  {Explication  de  la  Messe,  i. 
171,  note),  this  change  was  first  introduced  by  Patricius, 
Bishop  of  Pienza,  in  Italy,  about  the  year  1488,  and 
Pope  Pius  V.  adopted  it  afterwards  in  his  recension  of  the 
missal.  It  is  well  to  bear  this  in  mind  when  reading  such 
works  as  those  of  Durandus  and  Pope  Innocent  III.,  who 
wrote  prior  to  this  time,  for  what  they  invariably  call  right 
is  the  left  according  to  the  present  discipline.  This  rule 
also  holds  good  in  every  other  case,  at  Mass  and  out  of  Mass, 

Altars  of  the  Orientals,  117 

where  it  becomes  necessary  to  make  a  distinction  of  this 
kind — such,  for  instance,  as  in  sprinkling  with  holy  water, 
in  putting  incense  in  the  thurible,  and  in  incensing  any- 


It  is  of  strict  obligation  that  every  altar  upon  which  the 
Holy  Sacrifice  is  offered  should  be  covered  with  three  linen 
cloths.  The  first  two  must  be  large  enough  to  cover  the 
entire  table  or  upper  surface ;  the  third,  or  outer  one,  must 
cover  the  latter  two  and  hang  down  on  both  sides  so  as  to 
touch  the  ground.  In  case  three  cannot  be  had,  it  is  per- 
mitted to  fold  the  under  cloth  in  two,  and  thus  make  up 
the  complement.  Before  these  cloths  are  used  they  must 
be  blessed  by  the  bishop,  or  by  one  to  whom  he  delegates 
his  power  in  this  matter.  Three  are  used  in  honor  of 
the  Blessed  Trinity  (Gavantus,  p.  115),  as  well  as  to  com- 
memorate the  linen  cloths  in  which  our  Lord's  Body  was 
wrapped  when  laid  in  the  sepulchre  (Kozma,  32).  They  are 
mentioned  as  far  back  as  the  fourth  century,  at  which  period 
they  were  not  spread  on  the  altar  until  after  the  exclusion 
of  the  catechumens — i.e.,  before  the  Offertory  (ibid.) 


The  discipline  of  the  Oriental  Church  on  the  subject  of 
altars  differs  but  little  from  our  own.  With  them  the 
altars  must  be  of  stone  also.  However,  in  the  absence  of 
a  regular  altar  they  will  say  Mass  on  certain  cloths  called 
Antimens  ;  nay,  even  on  a  leaf  of  the  Gospel,  if  necessity 

Antimens. — This  word  is  sometimes  written  Antimins, 
and  nearly  always  so  by  the  Greeks  ;  but  as  it  is  evidently 
derived  from  anti,  instead  of,  and  7nensa,  a  table  or  altar, 
we  prefer  writing  it  as  here,  because  it  is  more  suggestive 

118  The  Altar. 

of  its  origin.  These  antimens  are  held  in  great  veneration 
by  the  Orientals.  Their  material  is  generally  silk,  but  in 
some  cases  linen  also  is  used,  after  the  manner  of  our  cor- 
porals. They  are  consecrated  with  much  ceremony,  relics 
being  pounded  up  with  fragrant  gum,  and  holy  oil  being 
poured  out  together  with  them  by  the  bishop  and  cast  upon 
them.  Then  the  Office  of  the  Holy  Eucharist  is  celebrated 
on  them  for  seven  successive  days  before  they  are  fully  con- 
secrated. The  date  of  their  consecration  is  generally  worked 
upon  them,  also  the  name  of  the  consecrating  prelate  (Neale, 
Holy  Eastern  Church,  vol.  i.  p.  186  ;  Hierurgia,  504  ;  Goar, 
Euchol.  Grcec,  653).  They  measure  about  sixteen  inches 
square,  and  have  generally  a  figure  stamped  upon  them  repre- 
senting the  burial  of  our  Lord  by  Joseph  of  Arimathea  and 
the  holy  women  (Romanoff,  Rites  and  Customs  of  the  Greco- 
Russian  Church,  pp.  84,  85).  The  discipline  of  the  Russian 
Church  is  so  strict  regarding  these  sacred  cloths  that  no 
church  can  be  consecrated  without  them.  When  not  in  ac- 
tual use,  they  are  carefully  folded  up  in  a  silken  cloth  called 
the  lliton  (ibid.)  Instead  of  these  antimens,  the  Syrians  use, 
when  pressed  by  necessity,  slabs  of  wood  called  Mensm, 
which  they  also  employ,  when  the  notion  takes  them,  even 
though  regularly  consecrated  altars  can  be  had  (Neale,  187). 


The  Orientals  also,  like  ourselves,  use  three  coverings. 
The  manner  in  which  they  vest  the  altar  is  thus  described 
by  Neale  :  "At  the  angles  of  the  mensa  are  placed  four 
small  pieces  of  cloth,  symbolizing  the  four  Evangelists,  and 
adorned  with  their  respective  emblems.  Over  these  the 
catasarha  of  silk  or  stuff  is  spread,  having  four  strings 
or  tassels  at  its  extremities,  and  over  this  the  €7rsvSv- 
GiS,  ependusis,  or  exterior  covering,  generally  worked  with 
crosses"  (i.  p.  187).     Although  Neale  agrees  with  Goar  re- 

Altar  Cards.  119 

garding  the  number  of  altar  coverings  used  by  the  Orien- 
tals, still  the  latter  mentions  one — viz.,  the  eileton — not 
named  by  the  former  (Euchol.  Grcec,  p.  849). 

According  to  the  Ritual  of  Russia,  the  altar's  first  cover- 
ing is  a  white  linen  cloth  made  in  the  form  of  a  cross,  the 
four  ends  of  which  hang  down  to  the  floor.  It  is  called  the 
stratchitza,  and  by  it  is  meant  the  linen  cloth  left  by  our 
Lord  in  the  sepulchre  after  his  glorious  resurrection  (Ro- 
manoff, 85).  The  second  covering  resembles  this  in  every- 
thing, only  that  its  material  is  of  a  richer  kind.  This  is 
denominated  the  inditia,  and  signifies  the  "glory  of  God." 
The  third  article  is  called  the  iliton  (same  as  the  Greek 
eileton) ;  it  is  intended  to  call  to  mind  the  napkin  which 
bound  the  head  of  our  Lord,  and  which  the  Apostles  Peter 
and  John  saw  "wrapped  in  a  place  by  itself"  {Greco- 
Russian  Church,  p.  85). 

The  first  cloth  put  on  by  the  Copts  is  of  a  black  color 
{mappa  nigra).  With  them,  and  in  fact  with  the  majority 
of  the  Orientals,  the  altar  is  always  bare  and  unfurnished 
except  at  Mass  ;  nor  must  it  ever  be  dressed  unless  when 
the  priest  is  standing  before  it  making  his  acts  of  pre- 
paration for  the  Liturgy  (Renaudot,  Liturg.  Orient.  Collec- 
tio,  torn.  i.  166). 

On  Holy  Thursday  the  Latin  Church  strips  the  altar  of 
all  its  coverings  and  ornaments,  leaving  nothing  but  the 
candelabra  and  crucifix.  This  is  intended  to  recall  to 
mind  the  denudation  of  our  Divine  Lord  during  his  bitter 
Passion  (Bouvry,  ii.  515). 


For  the  greater  convenience  of  the  priest  there  are  always 
placed  on  the  altar  three  large  cards,  standing  upright,  con- 
taining certain  portions  of  the  Mass  which  may  be  read  at 
sight.     The  priest,  it  is  true,  is  expected  to  have  these  al- 

*20  The  Altar. 

ready  committed  to  memory ;  but  as  the  memory  often  fails 
when  we  least  expect  it,  it  has  been  deemed  advisable  to 
have  certain  prayers  always  in  sight,  and  not  trust  to  un- 
certainty of  any  kind. 

The  card  at  the  Gospel  side  contains  the  Gospel  of  St. 
John.  That  in  the  centre  the  "  Gloria  in  excelsis  "  and 
"  Credo,"  as  well  as  all  the  prayers  said  at  the  Offertory ; 
also  the  "  Qui  pridie,"  or  beginning  of  the  Canon,  the  form 
of  consecration,  the  prayers  before  Communion,  and  the 
last  prayer,  or  "  Placeat."  The  card  at  the  Epistle  side  con- 
tains the  prayer  recited  in  putting  the  water  into  the  chalice, 
and  that  said  at  the  washing  of  the  fingers.  Strictly  speak- 
ing, only  the  centre  card  is  necessary,  and  it  is  the  only  one 
the  rubric  calls  for  ;  the  other  two  have  been  introduced  by 




Duking  the  persecutions1  the  faithful  were  accustomed 
to  turn  the  tombs  in  which  the  martyrs  were  interred  into 
altars,  and  offer  the  Holy  Sacrifice  upon  them.  This  can  be 
proved  by  innumerable  testimonies,  and  even  by  ocular  de- 
monstration at  this  great  distance,  if  trouble  be  taken  to 
visit  the  Eoman  Catacombs  and  read  their  sacred  inscrip- 
tions. "In  the  midst  of  these  venerable  symbols,"  says 
D'Agincourt  (torn.  ii.  p.  86),  "upon  a  large  slab  of  marble 
which  completely  covered  the  sarcophagus  of  the  martyr, 
tne  first  ministers  of  the  Christian  worship  celebrated  the 
mysteries  of  our  faith  in  the  time  of  persecution."  Hence 
the  origin  of  such  appellations  as  "  Memoria,"  "Confessio," 
"  Martyrium,"  and  "Apostolia"  given  by  the  ancient 
Fathers  to  such  places,  and  subsequently  applied  to  the 
churches  erected  over  or  near  them  (Kozma,  21,  note  ;  Hie- 
rurgia,  496).  The  name  "Martyrium,"  however,  was  not 
always  confined  to  the  altar  nor  to  the  church  built  over  a 
martyr's  tomb  ;  it  was  sometimes  given  even  to  an  ordinary 
church  when  the  latter  was  erected  through  the  zeal  of  any 

1  It  is  generally  admitted  that  there  were  ten  persecutions  of  the  Christians  in  the 
anrly  days  of  Christianity.  The  first  began  under  Nero  ;  the  second,  under  Domitian  ; 
the  third,  under  Trajan  ;  fourth,  under  Marcus  Aurelius  ;  fifth,  under  Severus  ;  sixth, 
under  Maximin  ;  seventh,  under  Decius  and  Gallus  ;  eighth,  under  Valerian  ;  ninth, 
under  Claudius  and  Aurelian ;  and  the  tenth,  under  Diocletian  and  Maximian.  The 
date  of  the  last  was  a.d.  303. 


122  Relics. 

private  individual.  Thus,  Cons  tan  tine  the  Great  called  the 
church  he  built  at  Jerusalem  a  "Martyrium,"  as  being  a 
monument  or  witness  of  his  good  feelings  towards  the  Chris- 
tian people  (Kiddle,  Christian  Antiquities,  p.  704). 


When  peace  was  restored  to  the  Church  the  custom  of 
saying  Mass  on  the  tombs  of  the  martyrs  gradually  died 
away  and  gave  place  to  the  present  discipline  of  depositing 
some  portions  of  the  martyrs'  bodies  in  the  newly-conse- 
crated altars.  Hence  the  import  of  that  prayer  now  saia  by 
the  priest  as  he  lays  his  hands  on  the  sacred  table  at  the  be- 
ginning of  Mass  :  "We  pray  thee,  0  Lord  !  through  the 
merits  of  thy  saints  whose  relics  are  here  placed,  and  of  all 
the  saints,  that  thou  wouldst  vouchsafe  to  forgive  me  all  my 

The  relics  of  the  martyrs  are  placed  in  the  altar  by  the 
bishop  who  consecrates  it;  and,  in  order  to  verify  the 
words  of  the  above  prayer,  it  is  required  that  a  plurality 
be  inserted.  It  is  customary  to  enclose  with  the  martyrs' 
relics  some  also  of  the  saint  to  whose  name  the  church  is 
dedicated.  Hereupon  it  is  well  to  remark  that  a  portion  of 
the  saint's  or  martyr's  dress  is  not  enough  ;  the  relic  must  be 
a  part  of  the  body  (S.  R.  C,  April  13,  1867,  N.  5379  ;  De 
Herdt,  i.  No.  178).  Liturgical  writers  tell  us  that  it  was 
Pope  Felix  (third  century)  who  first  enjoined  this  practice 
(Merati,  Thesaur.  Fit.,  115).  The  holy  relics,  before  being 
deposited  in  the  altar,  are  first  enclosed  in  a  little  case  made 
of  silver  or  other  metal,  and  have  generally  accompanying 
them  the  names  of  the  saints  whose  relics  they  are,  and  the 
name  of  the  bishop  who  deposited  them  (Martinucci,  vii. 
306  ;  Catalanus,  Pontif.  Roman.,  iii.  403).  They  are  de- 
posited with  these  words  :  "  Under  the  altar  of  God  ye  saints 

Holy  Eucharist  deposited  in  place  of  Relics.       123 

of  God  have  received  a  place ;  intercede  for  us  with  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ." 


A  very  singular  custom  prevailed  at  one  time  in  many 
places  of  depositing  the  Sacred  Host  in  the  altar  when  no 
relics  could  be  obtained.  Durandus,  Bishop  of  Mende,  who 
died  and  was  buried  at  Rome  in  1296,  says  in  his  Rationale 
Divinorum,  p.  54,  that  when  genuine  relics  cannot  be  had 
the  altar  must  not  be  consecrated  without  the  Holy  Eucha- 
rist. The  same  custom  was  once  very  prevalent  in  England 
while  that  country  was  Catholic.  This  we  learn,  among 
other  sources,  from  the  Council  of  Calcuith,  held  in  A.D. 
816,  where  the  following  enactment  was  made:  "When  a 
church  is  built  let  it  he  hallowed  by  the  bishop  of  the  dio- 
cese ;  afterwards  let  the  Eucharist  which  the  bishop  conse- 
crates at  that  Mass  be  laid  up,  together  with  the  relics  con- 
tained in  the  little  box,  and  kept  in  the  same  basilica  ;  but 
if  he  cannot  find  any  other  relics,  then  will  the  Eucharist, 
most  of  all,  serve  the  purpose,  for  it  is  the  Body  and  Blood 
of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ "  ( Church  of  Our  Fathers,  vol.  i. 
p.  41,  note).  This  custom  lasted  in  England  up  to  the  fif- 
teenth century  (ibid.)  Three  particles  of  incense,  as  is  also 
the  rule  now,  used  to  be  enclosed  in  the  little  box  where  the 
relics  were  deposited  (ibid.  42). 

Another  custom  that  prevailed  in  certain  places  was  to  en- 
close with  the  regular  relics  portions  of  the  instruments  em- 
ployed in  torturing  the  martyrs,  as  well  as  documents  of 
high  veneration.  From  a  record  of  St.  Paul's  Church,  Lon- 
don, in  1295,  we  find  that  its  jasper  altar  had  deposited,  in  it, 
besides  the  relics  of  SS.  Philip  and  Andrew  and  those  of 
SS.  Denis  and  Blasius,  a  relic  also  of  the  veritable  cross 
upon  which  St.  Andrew  was  crucified  (ibid.  254). 

124  Belies. 


At  Messina,  in  Sicily,  there  is  said  to  be  an  altar  in  which 
is  enclosed,  as  a  most  precious  relic,  a  letter  written  by  the 
Mother  of  God  herself.  The  history  of  this  curious  letter 
is  as  follows  :  Tradition  has  it  that  the  Messinese  received 
the  faith  direct  from  the  Prince  of  the  Apostles  himself 
during  his  Roman  Pontificate.  Their  cathedral  is  one  of 
the  most  august  in  Europe,  and  the  most  venerable  by 
reason  of  its  great  antiquity,  for  it  was  founded  in  a.d. 
1197.  In  the  year  a.d.  42,  as  the  legend  goes,  St.  Paul 
visited  Messina,  and  having  found  the  people  there  well 
disposed,  and  eager  to  hear  the  word  of  God  from  his  lips, 
he  preached  them  two  sermons,  one  on  our  Lord's  Passion, 
the  other  on  the  perpetual  virginity  of  our  Blessed  Lady. 
This  latter  had  such  a  telling  effect  upon  the  inhabitants 
that  they  cried  out  with  one  acclaim,  "  Our  city  must  be 
placed  under  the  protection  of  the  Virgin  Mother."  The 
Btory  goes  on  to  say  that  an  embassy,  at  the  head  of  which 
was  St.  Paul  himself,  was  sent  to  Jerusalem,  where  the  Mo- 
ther of  God  was  then  living,  and  that  as  soon  as  the  Blessed 
Virgin  received  the  embassy  she  sent  a  reply  to  the  Messi- 
nese in  Hebrew,  stating  that  she  was  willing  to  accede  to 
their  pious  wishes.  This  letter  was  afterwards  done  into 
Greek  by  St.  Paul,  and  deposited  in  the  ancient  church  of 
Messina,  whence  in  course  of  time  it  was  removed  to  its 
present  place  in  the  altar  of  the  cathedral  church.  The 
following  is  a  copy  of  this  singular  document  : 

"  Mary,  Virgin,  daughter  of  Joachim,  most  lowly  hand- 
maid of  God,  Mother  of  the  Crucified  Jesus  Christ,  of  the 
tribe  of  Juda,  from  the  race  of  David,  to  all  the  people 
of  Messina  salutation  and  blessing  from  God  the  Father 
Almighty.  It  is  certified  by  public  documents  that  all  of 
you  have,  in  great  faith,  sent  emissaries  and  ambassadors 

Belies  of  the  Orientals.  125 

to  us.  Led  to  know  the  way  of  the  truth  through  the 
preaching  of  Paul  the  Apostle,  ye  confess  that  our  Son,  the 
Only-Begotten  of  God,  is  both  God  and  man,  and  that  he 
ascended  into  heaven  after  his  resurrection.  For  this 
reason  we,  therefore,  bless  ye  and  your  city,  whose  per- 
petual Protectress  we  desire  to  become. — Year  of  our  Son 
42 ;  Indiction  I.  ;  iii.  nones  of  June  ;  xxvii.  of  the  moon  ; 
feria  v.  from  Jerusalem.  Mary,  Virgin,  who  hath  approved 
the  handwriting  above"  (Catholic  Italy,  by  Hemans,  vol. 
ii.  p.  511). 

To  establish  the  genuineness  of  this  letter  the  learned 
Jesuit,  Father  Melchior  Inchofer,  wrote  a  very  learned 
Latin  work,  entitled  Epidolce  B.  Virginis  Marim  ad  Messi- 
nenses  Veritas  vindicata — "  The  truth  of  the  Epistle  of 
the  Blessed  Virgin  Mary  to  the  people  of  Messina  vindi- 
cated." • 


The  Orientals  agree  with  us  also  in  the  discipline  regard- 
ing sacred  relics.  These,  with  the  Eastern  churches,  are 
often  placed  under  the  altar  in  a  little  box,  and  are  held  in 
the  greatest  veneration  by  the  people.  According  to  the 
Ritual  of  Russia,2  this  little  box  is  only  placed  there  when 
the  archbishop  consecrates  the  church  in  person  and  not  by 
deputy  (Romanoff,  84).  Without  these  relics  the  Nestorian 
Rituals  forbid  any  altar  whatever  to  be  consecrated  (Smith 
and  Dwight,  Travels  in  Armenia,  ii.  236). 

*  The  Russian  Church  uses  the  same  liturgies  and  ceremonies  as  the  Greek  Church, 
but  the  language  of  the  Maes  is  Slavonic.  There  are,  of  course,  a  few  other  diffe- 
rences of  minor  note.  i 

*  By  order  of  the  Sacred  Congregation  of  the  Index  the  word  truth,  as  herei* 
applied,  was  afterwards  changed  into  conjecture. 



According  to  the  best  liturgical  writers,  the  custom  of 
placing  the  Crucifix — that  is,  a  cross  with  the  image  of  our 
Lord  crucified  upon  it — has  been  derived  from  the  Apostles 
themselves.  Mention  is  made  of  it  by  all  the  early  Fathers, 
and,  as  we  shall  see  a  little  further  on,  it  has  always  been 
used  by  the  Orientals  (Bouvry,  ii.  225  ;  Kozma,  33).  It  is 
intended  to  remind  all  that  in  the  Holy  Sacrifice  of  the  Mass 
the  same  Victim  is  offered  which  was  offered  on  Calvary,  but 
in  an  unbloody  manner.  "  The  Church  omits  nothing," 
says  Pope  Benedict  XIV.,  "to  impress  upon  the  minds  of 
the  priest  and  people  that  the  Sacrifice  of  the  altar  and  that 
of  the  Cross  are  the  same  "  (Bouvry,  ii.  22,  note). 

Whenever  there  is  an  exposition  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament 
it  is  recommended  to  take  away  the  Crucifix  as  long  as  the 
reality  is  present ;  but,  if  this  cannot  be  conveniently  done, 
it  is  not  insisted  upon.  In  fact,  every  church  is  allowed  to 
follow  its  own  custom  in  this  respect  (De  Herdt,  i.  181). 


While  on  the  subject  of  Crosses  we  deem  it  well  to  men- 
tion the  different  kinds,  as  erroneous  notions  are  prevalent 
about  some  of  them.  There  are  usually  enumerated  six 
different  kinds  of  Crosses — viz. :  1st.  The  Latin  Cross,  where 


Different  Kinds  of  Crosses.  121 

the  transverse  beam  cuts  the  upright  shaft  near  the  top. 
2d.  The  Greek  Cross,  where  two  equal  beams  cut  each  other 
in  the  middle.  3d.  The  Cross  commonly  known  as  St.  An- 
drew's, because  the  saint  was  crucified  on  it ;  it  resembles 
the  letter  X.  4th.  The  Egyptian,  or  St.  Anthony's  Cross, 
shaped  like  the  letter  T.  5th.  The  Maltese  Cross,  so  called 
because  worn  by  the  Knights  of  Malta,  formed  of  four  equi 
lateral  triangles,  whose  apices  meet  in  one  common  point 
6th.  The  Russian  Cross,  having  two  transverse  beams  at  the 
head,  and  one  near  the  foot  of  the  upright  shaft,  slightly 
inclined,  to  favor  a  tradition  of  long  standing  with  the  Rus- 
sians— viz.,  that  when  our  Lord  hung  on  the  Cross  one  of 
his  feet  was  lifted  a  little  higher  than  the  other  (Coxe, 
Travels  in  Russia,  p.  593). 

Triple  Cross. — A  Cross  with  three  transverse  bars  or  tran- 
soms is  generally  denominated  the  Papal  Cross ;  but  this  is 
nothing  more  than  pure  imagination,  for  no  such  Cross  ever 
existed  among  papal  insignia,  and  it  exists  nowhere  to-day. 
When  the  Holy  Father  moves  in  procession  nothing  but  the 
simplest  kind  of  Cross — viz.,  that  with  one  transverse  beam 
■ — is  carried  before  him,  and  it  is  well  known  that  he  never 
uses  a  bishop's  crook,  or  crosier,  as  it  is  called.  A  triple 
Cross,  therefore,  is  a  misconception,  invented  by  painters, 
but  never  authorized  by  the  Church. 

Double  Cross. — The  double  Cross,  or  that  with  two 
transverse  beams  at  the  head,  one  a  little  longer  than  the 
other,  owes  its  origin  evidently  to  the  fact  that  upon  the 
true  Cross  whereon  our  Lord  suffered  a  board  was  placed 
above  the  head  with  the  inscription  in  Hebrew,  in  Greek, 
and  in  Latin,  "Jesus  of  Nazareth,  King  of  the  Jews." 
This  board  is  represented  by  one  transom ;  and  that  on 
which  our  Lord's  head  rested,  and  to  which  his  hands  were 
nailed,  forms  the  second,  and  hence  the  so-called  double 

128  Crucifixes  and  Crosses. 

Archiepiscopal  Cross. — We  are  entirely  at  a  loss  to  know 
how  this  double  Cross  came  to  be  an  archiepiscopal  ensign. 
Neither  the  Cceremoniale  Episcoporum  nor  the  Pontificate 
Romanum  gives  a  word  to  distinguish  it  from  any  other ; 
nor  is  it  spoken  of  by  any  liturgical  writer  of  our  acquain- 
tance, and  there  are  few  whose  works  we  have  n^t  perused. 
It  cannot  be  denied,  however,  that  such  Crosses  are  in  use, 
and  that  they  were  formerly  in  vogue  in  certain  places,  par- 
ticularly with  the  English  prelates.  It  is  generally  supposed 
that  they  found  their  way  into  England  from,  the  East  in 
the  time  of  the  Crusades.  It  is  supposed,  too,  that  his  lord- 
ship Anthony  Beck,  Bishop  of  Durham,  whom  Pope  Clement 
V.,  in  1305,  created  patriarch  of  Jerusalem,  had  something  to 
do  with  their  introduction,  for  they  were  very  common  with 
^he  Greeks  (Dr.  Eock,  Church  of  Our  Fathers,  vol.  ii.  pp.  218- 
223).  It  may  interest  the  reader  to  know  that  the  only  two 
prelates  in  the  Church  who  are  mentioned  by  name  as  hav' 
ing  a  peculiar  right  to  the  double  Cross  are  the  Patriarch 
of  Venice '  and  the  Archbishop  of  Agria,  in  Hungary  (Koz- 
ma,  73,  note  3). 

Jansenistic  Crosses. — Crosses  in  which  the  arms  of  our 
Lord  are  but  partly  extended  are  called  Jansenistic,  from 
Cornelius  Jansens,  Bishop  of  Ipres,  or  Ypres,  in  Belgium, 
a.d.  1635,  who  maintained  the  heretical  doctrine  that  Christ 
died  not  for  all  mankind  but  only  for  the  good.  To  con- 
form with  the  true  doctrine  that  Christ  died  for  all,  a  regu- 
lar Catholic  Crucifix  would  represent  our  Lord's  arms  fully 

1  Although  the  term  patriarch  is  now  nothing  more  than  a  mere  honorary  title,  still 
it  is  well  for  the  reader  know  that  there  are  twelve  snch  dignitaries  in  the  Catholic 
Chnrch  to-day— viz.,  the  patriarchs  of  Constantinople,  of  Alexandria,  of  Antioch  of 
the  Maronites,  of  Antioch  of  the  Melchites,  of  Antioch  of  the  Syrians,  of  Antioch  of  the 
Latins,  of  Jerusalem,  of  Babylon,  of  the  Indies,  of  Lisbon,  of  Cilicia,  and  of  Venio* 
iQurarchia  Oattolica,  1873). 

How  our  Lord  aas  fastened  to  the  Cross.  129 


It  is  commonly  supposed  that  our  Lord's  feet  were  sepa- 
rately nailed  to  the  Cross,  and  not  placed  one  over  the  other 
and  fastened  by  a  single  nail,  as  is  the  tradition  in  the 
Greek  Church.  Pope  Benedict  XIV.,  commenting  on  this 
point,  pertinently  remarks  that  it  would  be  almost  impos- 
sible to  avoid  breaking  some  of  the  bones  of  the  feet  if  one 
rested  on  the  other  and  a  nail  were  driven  through  both. 
There  would  be  danger  in  that  case  of  making  void  the 
Scriptural  saying  to  the  effect  that  not  a  bone  of  our  Saviour 
was  to  be  broken. 

Before  the  twelfth  century  the  paintings  representing  the 
Crucifixion  always  exhibited  our  Lord's  feet  nailed  sepa- 
rately ;  and,  therefore,  four  nails  instead  of  three  were  the 
entire  number  that  fastened  him  to  the  cross.  St.  Gregory 
of  Tours  and  Durandus  speak  of  four  nails,  but  the  latter 
writer  also  alludes  to  three  without  saying  which  number  he 
himself  inclines  to  (Rationale  Divinorum,  p.  537).  From 
time  immemorial  the  Latin  Church  has  kept  to  the  tradi- 
tion that  four  nails  were  employed,  and  not  three,  and  she 
represents  our  Lord  as  thus  crucified  (see  Notes,  Eccle- 
siological  and  Historical,  on  the  Holydays  of  the  English 
Church,  p.  172). 

It  is  commonly  believed  that  one  of  the  nails  of  the  Cru- 
cifixion is  kept  yet  in  the  Church  of  the  Holy  Cross  at 
Rome,  and  that  the  cathedrals  of  Paris,  Treves,  and  Toul 
have  the  others.  When  St.  Helena  first  discovered  them  it 
is  said  that  she  attached  one  to  the  helmet  of  her  son,  Con- 
stantine  the  Great,  and  another  to  the  bridle  of  his  horse. 
Tradition  has  it  that  she  threw  a  third  into  the  Adriatic 
Sea  to  appease  a  storm.  The  crown  of  Italy  contains  a  por- 
tion of  one  of  these  nails,  and  filings  from  them  are  kept  as 

130  Crucifixes  and  Crosses, 

precious  relics  in  many  churches  of  Europe  {The  Sacramen* 
tals,  by  Kev.  W.  J.  Barry). 



The  Oriental  disciplinary  canons  regarding  the  sacred 
symbol  of  salvation  are  very  strict.  No  service  must  take 
place  without  having  the  Cross  prominent.  There  is  one 
placed  on  the  altar  for  the  people  to  kiss  the  moment 
they  enter  the  church.  It  may  be  seen  in  all  the  principal 
streets  of  Eastern  cities,  especially  within  the  Russian  do- 
minions, and  there  is  hardly  a  private  house  in  which  the 
Crucifix  and  an  image  of  our  Blessed  Lady,  with  a  lamp 
burning  before  them,  are  not  prominently  in  view  (see  Por- 
ter's Travels,  p.  54 ;  Romanoff,  Greco- Russian  Church,  pp. 
84  and  93). 

The  Armenians  have  an  extraordinary  reverence  for  the 
Cross.  Before  they  apply  it  to  use  it  is  first  consecrated 
with  much  ceremony.  To  this  end  it  is  washed  in  wine 
and  water,  in  imitation  of  the  blood  and  water  which  flowed 
from  our  Saviour's  side,  and  is  then  anointed  with  the  sa- 
cred oil,  or  meiron,  in  token  of  the  Holy  Spirit  who  de- 
scended upon  him.  Following  this,  several  passages  from 
the  Psalms,  the  Prophets,  and  from  the  Epistles  and  Gos- 
pels are  recited  ;  after  which  the  priest  sends  up  a  prayer  of 
invocation  that  God  may  give  to  this  Cross  the  power  of 
casting  out  devils,  of  healing  diseases,  and  of  appeasing  the 
wrath  that  visits  us  on  account  of  our  sins.  A  Cross  when 
thus  consecrated  is  called  by  the  Armenians  the  "  Throne 
of  Christ,"  his  "  Chariot,"  his  "  Weapon  for  the  conquest 
of  Satan"  (Smith  and  D wight,  Researches  in  Armenia, 
vol.  i.  pp.  157,  158). 

The  Nestorians,  also,  have  a  singular  reverence  for  it. 
In  order  that  they  may  ei>ter  the  house  of  God  filled  with 

Practice  of  the  Oriental  Church  regarding  the  Crucifix.  131 

holy  recollections,  it  stands  at  the  very  threshold  of  all  their 
churches  (Badger,  Nestorians  and  their  Rituals,  ii.  135), 
and  not  unfrequently  is  it  worn  with  the  prints  of  their 
kisses.  The  two  authors  just  quoted  inform  us  that  the 
first  act  a  Nestorian  Christian  performs  upon  entering  the 
church,  and  before  he  takes  his  seat,  is  to  doff  his  shoes 
and  pay  his  obeisance  to  the  Cross,  which  stands  on  a  side 
altar,  by  humbly  approaching  and  kissing  it  (ii.  p.  210). 
One  of  the  greatest  festivals  in  the  Nestorian  calendar  is 
"Holy-Cross  Day,"  which  is  celebrated  with  great  pomp 
on  the  13th  of  November.  As  the  Rev.  Mr.  Badger  admits, 
volumes  might  be  written  about  the  veneration  paid  the 
Cross  by  the  Nestorians,  heretics  though  they  be. 

Nor  are  the  Copts9  behindhand  in  this  sacred  duty. 
Their  reverence  for  it  is  so  great  that,  in  order  to  have  it 
always  before  their  eyes,  they  inscribe  it  on  their  arms  by 
a  process  of  tattooing ;  and  when  any  one  asks  them  whether 
they  are  Christians  or  not,  the  arm  thus  tattooed  is  at  once 
displayed  in  testimony  of  their  belief  (Pococke,  Travels  in 
Egypt,  p.  370). 

Protestant  missionaries  to  the  East  would  do  well  to  re- 
sume their  reverence  for  the  sacred  symbol  of  salvation. 
As  long  as  they  reject  it  from  their  service,  and  ridicule 
the  pious  veneration  paid  to  it  East  and  West,  their  prose 
lytes  will  be  very  few.  In  many  parts  of  the  Orient  they 
are  looked  upon  as  heathens  on  this  account  alone.  The 
authors  above  cited  are  forced  to  make  open  confession  of 
this  fact. 

*  In  speaking  of  the  Eastern  Christians  throughout  this  work  we  have  not  deemed 
It  necessary,  unless  in  a  few  particular  cases,  to  specify  their  doctrinal  tenets.  As 
far  as  ceremonies  and  liturgical  customs  are  concerned,  there  exists  hardly 
any  difference  between  the  orthodox  and  the  heterodox.  It  is  well  that  the 
reader  should  bear  this  carefully  in  mind,  as  it  will  serve  as  a  key  to  many  a 


Alongside  the  crucifix  there  are  placed  on  every  altar 
for  the  celebration  of  Mass  two  candlesticks  with  candles 
of  pure  wax  burning  in  them  during  the  entire  time  of 
divine  service.  At  Solemn  High  Mass  the  rule  requires 
at  least  six.  At  a  Low  Mass  celebrated  by  a  bishop  it  is 
customary  to  light  four.  An  ordinary  priest  can  never  em- 
ploy more  than  two.  When  the  Holy  Father  celebrates 
High  Mass  the  candles  used  are  always  ornamented  (Mar- 
tinucci,  ii.  p.  31,  note). 

The  rule  requiring  the  candles  to  be  of  pure  wax  is  very 
stringent,  and  dispensations  from  its  observance  are  rarely 
granted  unless  in  difficult  circumstances.  The  Catholic 
missionaries  in  some  parts  of  the  empire  of  China  and 
throughout  Hindostan  have,  when  pressed  by  necessity, 
been  allowed  by  the  Holy  See  to  use  oil  instead  of  candles. 
Sperm  candles  and  those  known  as  paraffine  are  wholly 
interdicted,  unless  in  case  of  churches  whose  poverty  is 
so  great  that  none  others  can  be  purchased.  Besides  the 
natural  reason  for  prohibiting  the  use  of  any  lights  but 
those  of  pure  wax — viz.,  because  those  of  any  other  ma- 
terial usually  emit  an  offensive  odor — there  are  many  spirit- 
ual or  mystical  reasons  also,  the  principal  of  which  is  that 
the  pure  wax  symbolizes  our  Lord's  humanity,  which  was 
stainless  and  sinless ;  and  the  light  his  divinity,  which 
always  shone  forth  and  illuminated  his  every  action. 


Mystic  Signification  of  Lights.  133 


It  is  an  opinion  which  it  would  be  rash  to  differ  from  that 
the  use  of  lights  at  the  celebration  of  Mass  is  of  apostolic 
origin.  Cardinal  Bona  and  all  liturgists  of  note  strongly 
maintain  this,  and  many  passages  of  the  Xew  Testament 
seem  to  warrant  it  (Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  pp.  206-294). 


There  are  many  mystic  significations,  besides  the  one  we 
have  mentioned,  to  be  found  in  the  use  of  lights  at  Mass.  In 
the  first  place,  they  represent  our  Divine  Lord's  mission 
upon  earth  in  a  very  striking  and  happy  manner.  He  is 
called  by  the  Prophet  Isaias  "  a  great  Light,"  who  also  says 
that  "  to  them  who  dwelt  in  the  region  of  the  shadow  of 
death  a  Light  is  risen "  (chap.  ix.  2).  The  same  prophet 
calls  him  the  "  Light  of  Jehovah,"  and  calls  upon  Jerusalem 
to  arise  and  be  enlightened  by  him.  When  the  aged  Simeon 
first  saw  him  and  held  him  in  his  arms  in  the  Temple,  he 
designated  him  as  "a  Light  to  the  revelation  of  the  Gen- 
tiles "  (Luke  ii.  32).  He  calls  himself  the  Light  of  the  world: 
"  I  am  the  Light  of  the  world  "  (John  viii.);  and  St.  John 
describes  him  as  "the  true  Light  which  enlighteneth  every 
man  coming  into  this  world."  The  Rabbis  also  had  this 
idea  of  our  Divine  Lord,  or  the  "  great  Expected  of  nations," 
as  he  was  called,  for  they  looked  to  him  as  the  Light  of  God 
who  was  to  guide  them  in  the  way  of  peace  (Essays  on  the 
Names  and  Titles  of  Jesus  Christ,  p.  216,  by  Ambrose  Serle  ; 
London,  1837).  Then,  again,  his  teaching  is  aptly  compared 
to  a  light ;  for  as  the  latter  dispels  physical  darkness,  which 
hides  all  the  beauties  of  nature  from  our  gaze,  so  the  former 
dispels  all  the  darkness  of  the  soul  and  enables  it  to  see  what 
is  beautiful  and  true  and  good  in  the  spiritual  order.  "  Thy 
word  is  a  lamp  to  my  feet,"  says  the  royal  Psalmist,  "  and  a 
light  to  my  paths  "  (Ps.  cxviii.)     But  more  especially  iff  the 

134  Lights. 

word  of  the  holy  Gospel  this  lamp  and  light,  for  which 
reason,  when  it  is  chanted  in  the  Mass,  the  Church  wisely  or- 
dains that  lights  should  accompany  it  in  solemn  procession. 
"  Whenever  the  Gospel  is  read,"  says  St.  Jerome,  writing  to 
Vigilantius,  "  lights  are  produced  ;  not,  indeed,  to  banish 
darkness,  but  to  demonstrate  a  sign  of  joy,  that  under  the 
type  of  a  corporal  light  that  light  may  be  manifested  of 
which  we  read  in  the  Psalmist  :  '  Thy  word,  0  Lord,  is  a 
lamp  to  my  feet  and  a  light  to  my  paths ' "  (Hierurgia,  p. 

Lights  in  the  Old  Law. — The  use  of  lights  in  the  Jewish 
ceremonial  is  so  well  authenticated  that  we  need  not  stay  to 
prove  it .  The  Holy  Scriptures  themselves  attest  it.  Nor 
heed  we  dwell  particularly  on  the  seven-branched  candlestick 
which  God  himself  ordered  to  be  made  and  to  be  kept  filled 
with  oil,  in  order  that  it  may  burn  always  (see  Exod.  xxv. 
and  xxvii.  20),  for  it  is  not  certain  whether  this  candlestick 
gave  light  also  during  the  day.  If  it  did  not  it  would  not 
help  our  purpose  much  to  cite  it  as  an  example.  Josephus, 
however,  who  is  a  very  reliable  authority  in  this  matter,  dis- 
tinctly says  that  three  of  its  lamps  burned  also  in  the  day- 
time {Antiquities  of  the  Jews,  book  iii.  chap.  viii.  3);  and 
in  his  account  of  the  building  of  the  Temple  by  Hiram  of 
Tyre  he  says  that  ten  thousand  candlesticks  were  made,  one 
of  which  was  specially  dedicated  for  the  sacred  edifice 
itself,  "that  it  might  burn  in  the  day-time,  according  to 
law  "  (book  viii.  chap.  iii.  7). 


One  of  the  most  impressive  ceremonies  of  the  entire  rite 
of  holy  baptism  is  witnessed  at  that  place  where  the  priest 
puts  into  the  hand  of  the  newly-baptized  a  lighted  candle, 
with  the  following  solemn  admonition  :  "Receive  this  burn- 
ing light,  and  preserve  your  baptism  blamelessly  ;  keep  the 

Lights  as  Marks  of  Respect  135 

commandments  of  God,  in  order  that  when  the  Lord  shall 
come  to  the  marriage- feast  you  may  run  to  meet  him  with 
all  the  saints  in  his  celestial  palace,  and  may  have  life  ever- 
lasting and  live  for  ever  and  ever.     Amen." 


Lights  are  significant  of  great  respect,  and  hence  they 
were  used  on  occasions  of  great  moment.  The  Athenians 
employed  them  on  the  feasts  of  Minerva,  Vulcan,  and  Pro- 
metheus, and  the  Romans  used  them  on  all  their  solemn 
days  (Notes  and  Illustrations  on  the  Reasons  of  the  Law  of 
Moses,  by  Rabbi  Maimonides,  p.  411).  Out  of  the  great  re- 
spect that  the  Jews  had  for  the  garments  of  their  high- 
priest,  a  light  was  kept  constantly  burning  before  them  as 
long  as  they  remained  deposited  in  the  tower  called  "  Anto- 
nia"  at  Jerusalem  (Josephus,  Antiq.  of  the  Jews,  book 
xviii.  chap.  iv.  3).  The  grand  lama,  or  sovereign  pontiff,  of 
Tartary  is  never  seen  in  his  palace  without  having  a  profu- 
sion of  lamps  and  torches  burning  around  him  (Burder, 
Relig.  Customs  and  Ceremonies),  and  it  is  a  well-known  fact 
that  a  certain  European  dignitary — a  son  of  one  of  the 
crowned  heads — upon  occasion  of  his  visit  to  this  country 
some  years  ago,  refused  to  sit  down  in  the  apartments  as- 
signed him  in  one  of  our  fashionable  hotels  until  two  wax 
candles  had  been  brought  and  lighted  before  him.  This 
etiquette  is  very  common  in  the  East  (see  Religious  Ceremo- 
nies and  Customs,  by  Burder,  p.  502  and  passim). 

Lights  at  Funerals  and  Graves. — Eusebius  gives  a  glow- 
ing account  of  the  profusion  of  lights  used  at  the  funeral 
obsequies  of  Constantine  the  Great,  who  died  a.d.  337,  and 
St.  Jerome  speaks  of  the  quantity  used  at  the  burial  of  the 
pious  St.  Paula.  When  the  body  of  St.  John  Chrysostom 
was  conveyed  from  Comana  to  Constantinople  vast  crowds 
pf  people  came  to  meet  the  cortege  in  ships  on  the  Bos- 

136  Lights. 

phorus,  and  so  numerous  were  the  lights  that  burned  on 
the  occasion  that  the  whole  sea  appeared  as  if  ablaze 
(Hierurgia,  p.  403).  Lights  were  kept  constantly  burning 
in  Westminster  Abbey,  London,  before  England's  great 
heroes,  and  the  old  story  of  lamps  being  found  burning  in 
sepulchres  after  the  lapse  of  ages  clearly  shows  how  im- 
portant it  was  considered  by  the  ancients  to  show  this  mark 
of  respect  to  the  dead. 


Besides  the  regular  lights  placed  upon  the  altar  at  the 
beginning  of  Mass,  others  are  brought  out  by  acolytes  at  the 
approach  of  consecration,  and  are  kept  burning  as  long  as 
our  Divine  Lord  is  present  on  the  altar — that  is,  until  after 
the  Communion. 

Oriental  Practice  in  this  Respect.— The  discipline  of  the 
Oriental  Church  and  ours  is  in  perfect  agreement  on  this 
point,  as  every  one  can  testify  who  has  ever  travelled  in  the 
East  or  looked  into  any  of  the  Oriental  Liturgies.  The 
Copts  on  no  account  will  say  Mass  without  two  candles  at 
least.  "Liturgia  non  celebretur,"  says  one  of  their  canons, 
"  absque  cereis  duobus  majoribus  aut  minoribus  qui  altare 
luceant " — that  is,  "  Let  not  the  Liturgy  be  celebrated  with- 
out two  large  wax  candles  or  two  small  ones  to  burn  on 
the  altar  "  (Eenaudot,  Liturg.  Orient.  Col.,  i.  p.  179).  The 
rest  of  the  Oriental  churches  are  equally  strict  in  their  ob- 
servance of  this  practice. 

We  have  designedly  dwelt  on  this  subject  in  order  to 
show  that  Protestants  have  no  grounds  whatever  for  saying 
that  our  practice  of  burning  lights  in  the  open  day  is  ridicu* 
lous,  and  without  any  meaning  or  precedent  to  justify  it. 



The  small  structure  in  the  centre  of  the  altar,  resembling 
a  church  in  appearance,  is  called  the  Tabernacle  of  the 
Blessed  Sacrament.  It  is  here  that  the  Holy  Eucharist  is 
always  reserved  under  lock  and  key ;  and  so  particular  is 
the  Church  about  the  respect  that  should  be  paid  it  that 
the  most  minute  directions  are  given  regarding  its  exterior 
and  interior  ornamentation.  In  shape  it  may  be  square, 
hexagonal,  heptagonal,  or  any  other  becoming  form ;  but  it 
must  not  be  crowned  with  any  profane  devices,  or  be  made 
so  as  to  suggest  anything  else  than  the  sacred  purpose  for 
which  it  is  intended  ;  hence,  as  far  as  can  be,  a  cross  should 
surmount  its  top,  and  its  outside,  if  means  admit,  should 
be  finished  in  gold.  As  wood  is  less  liable  to  contract 
dampness  than  any  other  material,  it  is  advisable  to  have 
the  Tabernacle  made  of  it  ;  but  if  made  of  marble,  metal,  or 
any  kind  of  stone,  its  inside  at  least  should  be  lined  with 
wood  out  of  reverence  for  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  No  mat- 
ter what  its  material  be,  the  interior  must  always  be  covered 
over  with  silk,  and  a  clean  corporal  must  lie  under  the  ves- 
sel in  which  the  Blessed  Sacrament  is  enclosed. 

It  is  strictly  forbidden  to  make  the  Tabernacle  a  base  for 
anything  to  rest  on,  even  though  the  thing  were  a  reliquary 
containing  a  portion  of  the  true  cross  or  a  relic  of  the  great- 
est saint  in  heaven  ;  and  it  is  forbidden,  too,  to  have  any 
drawers  over  or  under  it  for  the  purpose  of  keeping  the  holy 


138  The  Tabernacle. 

oils  or  any  utensils  belonging  to  the  altar  or  sanctuary. 
Upon  no  consideration  can  any  empty  vessels  be  kept  within 
it,  such  as  the  chalice,  ciborium,  lunette,  monstrance,  or  the 
like.  Nothing,  in  fact,  is  allowed  there  but  the  sacred  vessel 
containing  the  Blessed  Sacrament ;  and  if  for  any  reason 
this  should  not  be  there,  the  door  should  be  always  open,  in 
order  that  the  people  may  not  be  deceived. 

The  Tabernacle  should  have  two  keys,  made  of  gold  or 
silver,  or  at  least  gilt,  one  of  which  should  be  kept  by  the 
pastor  himself,  the  other  by  one  of  his  priests. 

A  lamp  fed  with  pure  olive-oil  must  burn  before  it  per- 
petually— a  discipline  which,  as  we  have  seen,  prevails  also 
in  the  Oriental  Church,  and  by  which  we  are  reminded  of 
the  "  perpetual  fire  "  of  Solomon's  Temple,  and  of  that  sa- 
cred mystic  fire  of  divine  charity  with  which  our  Lord's 
heart  ever  burns  in  the  adorable  Sacrament  of  the  Altar, 



THfJ  Missal  is  the  next  thing  that  claims  our  considera- 
tion. It  is  a  large  book  in  folio,  printed  in  Latin  in  red  and 
black  letters,  and  containing  all  the  Masses  that  are  to  be 
said  throughout  the  year.  It  begins  with  the  first  Sunday 
of  Advent.1  The  portions  printed  throughout  in  red  letters 
are  termed  the  rubrics.*  They  give  the  directions  by  which 
a  priest  is  to  be  guided  in  performing  the  various  actions  of 
the  Mass.  Attached  to  the  Missal  are  five  large  ribbons, 
or  boo"k-marks,  corresponding  in  color  to  the  five  colors 
used  in  the  sacred  vestments.  It  is  customary  to  mark  the 
Mass  of  the  day  with  the  ribbon  that  suits  it  in  color. 
That  part  of  the  Missal  called  the  "Canon"  has  slips  of 
leather  attached  to  its  leaves  for  the  greater  convenience  of 
the  priest. 

1  The  First  Sunday  of  Advent  has  no  fixed  date.  According  to  the  present  disci- 
pline, it  is  always  the  nearest  Sunday  to  St  Andrew's  Feast  (November  30),  whether 
before  or  after  it.  In  case  this  feast  should  fall  on  a  Sunday  it  is  transferred  to  some 
other  day,  and  that  Sunday  Is  the  first  of  Advent.  The  old  rule  for  finding  Advent 
Sunday  was  thus  expressed  : 

"  Saint  Andrew  the  king 
Three  weeks  and  three  days  before  Christmas  comes  in ; 
Three  days  after,  or  three  days  before, 
Advent  Sunday  knocks  at  the  door." 

1  The  word  rubric,  which  comes  from  the  Latin  ruber,  red,  was  first  applied  by  the 
ancient  Romans  to  a  species  of  red  chalk  with  which  they  marked  the  titles  of  their 
books  and  statutes  ;  in  process  of  time  the  red  writing  itself  received  the  name,  and  in 
this  way  has  it  descended  to  us.  What  the  Romans  called  rubrlca  the  Greeks  called 
mUt08.    The  latter  used  it  in  painting  their  ships  (Homer,  Mad,  ix.  125). 


140  The  Missal 


Although  the  rubric  calls  for  a  cushion  to  support  the 
Missal,  general  custom  justifies  the  use  of  a  regular  book- 
stand for  this  purpose.  The  precise  symbolism  of  the 
cushion  is  this  :  it  denotes  the  tender  hearts  of  the  true 
hearers  of  the  word  of  God,  and  not  the  hard  hearts  such 
as  were  manifested  for  it  by  the  Jews  (Gavantus,  116). 


Who  the  author  of  the  first  Missal  was  it  is  not  easy  to 
determine.  Some  are  of  opinion  that  it  was  St.  James  the 
Apostle,3  first  Bishop  of  Jerusalem,  and  that  he  composed 
it  in  the  Cenacle  of  Sion  (Kozma,  97;  Kenaudot,  Dissert, 
de  Liturg.  Orient.  Origine  et  Auctoritate,  vol.  i.)  Be  this 
so  or  not,  all  are  agreed  that  the  Liturgy  which  bears  the 
name  of  this  Apostle  is  the  most  ancient  in  existence.  It 
was  committed  to  writing  about  a.d.  200. 

Following  closely  upon  the  apostolic  age  we  find  no  less 
than  four  special  books  employed  in  the  service  of  the  altar 
— viz.,  an  Antiphonary,  an  Evangeliary,  a  Lectionary,  and 
a  Sacramentary.  The  Antiphonary  contained  all  that  was 
to  be  sung  by  the  choir  and  sacred  ministers.     It  was  some- 

■  There  were  two  apostles  who  bore  the  name  of  James.  One,  called  James  the 
Greater  from  his  seniority  in  age,  was  the  son  of  Zebedee  and  Mary  (surnamed 
Salome).  The  other,  called  James  the  Less,  also  the  Just  from  his  great  sanc- 
tity, and  "Brother  of  the  Lord"  because  allied  to  him  as  cousin-german, 
was  the  son  of  Alphaeus  and  Mary  (sister  of  the  Blessed  Virgin).  He  was 
appointed  Bishop  of  Jerusalem  soon  after  our  Lord's  ascension,  where  he  met 
death  at  the  hands  of  the  Jews  by  being  cast  from  the  battlements  of  the 
Temple  and  then  despatched  with  a  blow  from  a  fuller's  club.  According  to 
Josephus,  he  was  esteemed  so  holy  a  man  that  it  was  generally  believed  the 
final  overthrow  and  destruction  of  Jerusalem  was  a  divine  visitation  in  punish- 
ment for  his  cruel  death.  He  is  the  author  of  the  Catholic  Epistle  which  goes 
by  his  name. 

Ancient  Missals.  141 

thing  like  our  modern  gradual.  The  Evangeliary  contained 
the  series  of  Gospels  for  the  Sundays  and  festivals  of  the 
year.  In  the  Lectionary  were  to  be  found  all  the  lessons 
that  were  read  in  the  Mass  from  the  Old  and  New  Testa- 
ments ;  and  whatever  the  priest  himself  had  to  recite,  such 
as  the  Collects,  Secrets,  Preface,  Canon,  etc.,  was  found  in 
the  Sacramentary. 

The  authorship  of  these  four  volumes  is  yet  an  unsettled 
question.  John  the  Deacon  (1.  2,  c.  6),  who  wrote  the  life  of 
Pope  St.  Gregory  the  Great,  tells  us  that  he  saw  with  his  own 
eyes  the  Antiphonary  which  was  composed  by  that  pontiff ; 
but  whether  we  are  to  consider  this  as  the  first  written,  or 
only  as  a  new  edition  of  the  first,  the  writer  does  not  state. 
Many,  however,  are  of  opinion  that  this  really  was  the  first 
written,  so  that  Pope  Gregory  may  be  considered  its  true 
author  (Kozma,  99,  note  ;  Gavantus,  5). 

Of  the  Lectionary  we  find  mention  made  as  far  back  as 
the  middle  of  the  third  century,  for  St.  Hippolytus,  Bishop 
of  Porto,  in  Italy,  alludes  to  it  in  his  so-called  Paschal 
Canon  (Kozma,  ibid.)  Its  precise  author  is  unknown. 
Towards  the  end  of  the  fourth  century  it  underwent  a 
thorough  revision  at  the  hands  of  St.  Jerome,  who  was 
specially  appointed  for  the  task  by  His  Holiness  Pope  St. 
Damasus.  The  Epistles  and  Gospels  to  be  read  throughout 
the  year  were  inserted  in  it,  after  much  care  had  been  ex- 
pended in  assigning  to  the  different  Sundays  and  festivals 
the  particular  lessons  that  were  best  suited  to  them.  This 
codex  is  sometimes  called  the  Hieronymian  Lectionary, 
from  St.  Jerome  (Hieronymus  in  Greek),  its  compiler ; 
and  it  is  from  it  that  the  series  of  Epistles  and  Gospels 
in  our  present  Missal  has  been  taken  (Kozma,  177,  note ; 
Gavantus,  Thesaur.  Sacr.  Bit.,  5). 

The    authorship  of   the   Evangeliary   is   still   unsettled. 
Mention  is  often  made  of  it  by  ancient  writers,  yet  little 

142  The  Missal 

attempt  has  been  made  at  discovering  its  precise  author, 
and  this  principally  on  account  of  its  great  antiquity. 

Regarding  the  Sacramentary,  called  also  the  Book  of  the 
Mysteries,  much  dispute  has  been  raised.  Although  gene- 
rally ascribed  to  Pope  Leo  the  Great  (fifth  century),  and 
called  Leonine  from  him,  yet  some  of  the  ablest  liturgical 
Writers  deny  it  to  be  his  composition.  Besides  this  so- 
called  Leonine  Sacramentary,  two  others  appeared  in  course 
of  time  :  one  edited  by  Pope  Gelasius,  the  other  by  Pope 
Gregory  the  Great.  The  Gelasian  was,  to  all  intents  and 
purposes,  a  recast  of  the  Leonine,  and  the  Gregorian  was 
formed  from  them  both.  Whenever  allusion  is  now  made 
to  a  Sacramentary,  that  issued  under  the  appellation  of  the 
Gregorian  is  always  understood,  for  it  was  more  complete 
than  any  other  (Kozma,  p.  99,  note  9). 

As  it  was  oftentimes  very  embarrassing  for  a  priest,  es- 
pecially if  celebrating  Low  Mass,  to  have  to  turn  from  one 
to  another  of  these  four  volumes  whenever  he  wanted  to 
read  a  particular  prayer  or  lesson,  the  necessity  of  hav- 
ing one  book  in  which  the  matter  of  all  the  four  would 
be  combined  was  soon  felt,  and  this  led  to  the  subsequent 
introduction  of  what  were  termed  Plenary  Missals.  Al- 
though Missals  of  this  kind  were  in  use  long  before  the 
Council  of  Trent  (1545  to  1563),  still,  inasmuch  as  they 
received  greater  perfection  in  being  remodelled  by  a  special 
decree  of  the  Fathers  of  this  august  assembly,  their  origin 
is  generally  ascribed  to  it.  The  Sacramentary  of  Pope 
Gregory  the  Great  was  the  norma  employed  in  preparing 
the  new  Plenary  Missal.  The  task,  first  taken  in  hand  by 
Pope  Pius  IV.,  was  brought  to  a  termination  by  his  suc- 
cessor, Pius  V.,  who  in  1570  produced  a  new  Missal  and 
issued  a  bull  enjoining  its  observance  on  all.  This  is  the 
Mass  Book  that  we  use  to-day  (Kozma,  p.  101,  note  3). 

Of  course  the  reader  must  not  suppose  that  any  change 

Missals  of  the  Orientals.  143 

of  a  substantial  nature  was  made  in  the  Ordinary  of  the 
Mass  when  preparing  this  new  edition  of  the  Missal.  All 
that  Pope  Pius  V.  did  was  to  reduce  it  to  a  better  form 
and  expunge  those  errors  and  interpolations  from  it  which 
were  introduced  about  the  period  of  the  Eeformation.  He 
did,  it  is  true,  make  some  things  obligatory  which  it  had 
been  customary  to  say  or  omit  at  pleasure  before  his  time, 
such  as  the  Psalm  "  Judica  me,  Deus,"  at  the  beginning 
of  Mass,  and  the  Gospel  of  St.  John  at  the  end ;  but  this 
was  all.  The  rest  of  his  emendations  principally  concerned 
certain  rubrical  observances  which  affected  in  no  way  the 
norma  of  the  Mass. 


The  Orientals  use  many  more  books  in  the  service  of  the 
altar  than  we.  The  Greeks  alone  employ  as  many  as 
eighteen,  the  principal  of  which  are  the  following :  1, 
the  Euchology,  which  contains  the  three  Liturgies  used 
by  all  who  follow  the  Greek  Rite — viz.,  the  Liturgy  of 
St.  Chrysostom,  that  of  St.  Basil,  and  the  Liturgy  of  the 
Presanctified ;  2,  the  Praxapostolos,  so  called  from  its  con- 
taining the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  and  their  Epistles  ;  3,  the 
Anagnoseis,  or  book  containing  the  lessons  read  from  the 
Old  Testament ;  4,  the  Panegyricon,  or  collection  of  ser- 
mons for  the  various  festivals  of  the  year  (this  book  is  gene- 
rally in  manuscript). 

As  Dr.  Neale  very  justly  remarks  in  his  History  of  the 
Holy  Eastern  Church,  vol.  ii.  p.  819,  it  is  next  to  impossible 
to  get  any  clear  idea  of  the  books  used  by  the  Oriental 
Church  in  the  service  of  the  altar.  Their  number  is  inter- 
minable, and  there  is  nothing  but  confusion  in  their  service, 
on  account  of  the  constant  turning  backward  and  forward 
from  one  book  to  another  in  order  to  find  the  particular  por- 
tion to  be  read.    Add  to  all  this  that  there  is  no  such  thing 

144  The  Missal 

known  with  them  as  a  translation  of  a  feast ;  and  hence 
when  an  occurrence4  of  feasts  happens  all  are  celebrated 
together,  with  a  jumble  of  rubrics  which  it  is  impossible  to 
describe.  The  Typicon,  or  Ordo,  for  the  feast  of  St.  George, 
for  example,  fills  about  ten  pages  of  a  quarto  volume,  and 
this  on  account  of  all  the  other  feasts  that  occur  with  it  or 
fall  on  the  same  day. 


The  Nestorians  also  employ  a  vast  number  of  service- 
books,  but  they  do  not  trouble  themselves  much  about  ru- 
brics. In  the  first  place,  they  have  what  is  termed  the 
Euanghelion,  or  book  of  the  Gospels.  This  they  read  at 
every  Mass.  Second,  the  Sliho  (in  Syriac,  j  ^v  A  or  book 
of  Epistles,  containing  nothing  but  extracts  from  the 
Epistles  of  St.  Paul.  Third,  the  Karyane  (Syriac,  ]\ohs 
=koruzo,  a  preacher,  hence  the  word  Koran),  which  con- 
tains extracts  from  the  Old  Testament  and  from  the  Acts 
of  the  Apostles.  Fourth,  the  Turgama  (Syriac,  }^o~joZ 
=turg?no,  interpretation,  whence  Targum),  consisting  of  a 
variety  of  hymns  chanted  responsively  around  the  altar 
by  the  deacons  before  the  Epistle  and  Gospel,  calling  upon 
the  people  to  give  ear  to  the  words  of  the  New  Testament. 

The  Karyane  is  read  by  the  Karoya,  or  lector,  at  the 
altar  door,  on  the  south  side  ;  the  Sliho,  on  the  north  side, 
by  the  subdeacon  ;  the  celebrant  himself  reads  the  Euanghe- 
lion at  the  middle  of  the  altar.  During  the  reading  of  all 
these  the  sacred  ministers  are  facing  the  congregation.  In 
case  a  Shammasha,  or  full  deacon,  is  present  the  onus  of 
reading  the  Gospel  devolves  on  him.     The  pulpit  in  which 

«  In  liturgical  language,  when  two  or  more  feasts  fall  on  the  same  day  there  is  said 
to  be  an  occurrence  of  feasts  ;  when  one  feast  meets  another  only  at  Vespers  it  is  said 
to  constitute  a  concurrence.  It  is  well  to  bear  in  mind  that  the  ecclesiastical  day 
always  begins  in  the  evening  and  ends  the  evening  following. 

Coptic  Missat.  145 

the  Nestorians  formerly  read  the  Sliho  was  denominated 
Gagolta  (same  as  Golgotha,  the  name  of  Mount  Calvary), 
from  the  steps  by  which  it  was  ascended. 

The  Chaldeans  *  use  the  same  books  in  divine  service,  with 
little  difference,  as  the  Nestorians  (Badger,  Nestorians  and 
their  Rituals,  vol.  ii.  p.  19).  This  difference  touches,  of 
course,  the  Nestorian  heresy  of  holding  that  there  are  two 
Persons  in  our  Divine  Saviour  instead  of  one. 


All  that  we  know  of  the  Coptic  Missal  is  that  it  is  printed 
throughout  in  the  ancient  Coptic  language,  and  that  its 
rubrics  are  in  the  native  Arabic,  the  language  spoken  by  the 
people  ;  for,  as  Dr.  Neale  very  justly  remarks,  hardly  three 
persons  can  be  found  in  all  Cairo  (the  headquarters  of  the 
Copts)  who  can  speak  the  Coptic  of  the  Missal,  not  except- 
ing even  the  clergy,  and  hence  the  necessity  of  having  the 
rubrics  printed  in  the  vernacular. 

•  The  name  Chaldean  is  generally  used  in  the  East  as  the  distinctive  appellation  of 
all  who  join  our  communion  from  Nestorianism.  The  Chaldean  Catholics,  as  we  have 
said  in  another  place,  are  governed  by  a  patriarch  with  the  title  of  "  Patriarch  of  Babp 
lon  of  the  Chaldean  Rita."    This  prelate  generally  reside*  at  Bagdad. 


The  use  of  bells  in  divine  service  is  very  ancient.  "We 
find  mention  made  of  them  in  the  books  of  Exodus 
and  Ecclesiasticus,  where  they  are  enumerated  among  the 
ornaments  of  the  high-priest's  ephod,  in  order  that  "their 
sound  might  be  heard  whenever  he  goeth  in  and  cometh  out 
of  the  sanctuary."  ("We  have  stated  in  another  place  that 
this  ancient  custom  of  attaching  little  bells  to  the  fringes  of 
the  priestly  garments  is  yet  very  common  in  the  Eastern 
Church.)  Besides  these  little  bells  the  ancient  Hebrews  em- 
ployed others  of  a  larger  kind,  called  Megeruphita,  which 
used  to  be  sounded  by  the  Levites  on  certain  occasions.  Of 
these  the  Mishna 1  says  that  when  they  were  struck  their 
noise  was  so  deafening  that  you  could  not  hear  a  person  speak 
in  all  Jerusalem.  They  were  sounded  principally  for  three 
purposes  :  First,  to  summon  the  priests  to  service  ;  secondly, 
to  summon  the  choir  of  Levites  to  sing ;  thirdly,  to  invite 
the  stationary-men  to  bring  the  unclean  to  the  gate  called 
Nicanor  (Bannister,  Temples  of  the  Hebrews,  p.  101).  The 
Mishna  further  states  that  when  these  megeruphita  were 
sounded  to  their  full  capacity  they  could  be  heard  at  Jeri- 
cho, eighteen  miles  from  Jerusalem. 

For  the  first  three  or  four  centuries  of  the  Christian 

1  The  Mishna,  or  oral  law  of  the  Jews,  consists  of  various  traditions  respecting  the 
law  of  Moses.  The  Mishna  and  Gemara  (or  commentary  on  the  Mishna)  form  what  is 
called  the  Talmud,  of  which  there  are  two  kinds— viz.,  that  of  Jerusalem  and  that  of 
Babylon.    The  latter  is  held  to  be  the  greater  of  the  two. 


Ancient  Substitute  for  Bells,  147 

Church's  existence  the  faithful  were  compelled  to  assemble 
at  divine  service  with  as  little  noise  as  possible,  for  fear  of 
attracting  the  attention  of  their  pagan  enemies,  and  thus 
bringing  about  fresh  persecution  ;  hence  we  must  not  ex- 
pect to  find  bells  in  use  during  those  days. 

According  to  Polydore  Virgil  it  was  Pope  Sabinian  (sev- 
enth century),  the  immediate  successor  of  Pope  Gregory  the 
Great,  who  first  introduced  the  practice  of  ringing  bells  at 
Mass  (Bona,  Ber.  Liturg.,  259).  The  same  thing  is  corrobo- 
rated by  Onuphrius  Panvinius,  who,  when  writing  of  this 
pontiff,  says  :  "  Hie  Papa  campanarum  usum  invenit,  jus- 
si  tque  ut  ad  horas  canonicas,  et  Missarum  sacrificia  pulsaren- 
tur  in  ecclesia  " — that  is,  "  This  pontiff  introduced  the  use  of 
bells,  and  ordained  that  they  be  rung  in  the  church  at  the 
canonical  hours  and  during  the  Sacrifice  of  the  Mass." 
The  usual  ascription  of  the  introduction  of  bells  to  St. 
Paulinus  of  Nola  stands  upon  little  or  no  foundation. 

The  name  campance,  sometimes  given  to  bells,  from  Cam- 
pana,  in  Italy,  where  large  quantities  of  them  were  made, 
generally  denotes  the  larger  kind,  and  nolce  (also  from  an 
Italian  town)  the  smaller  kind.  Small  bells  went  generally 
by  the  name  of  tintinnabula,  from  their  peculiar  tinkling 


Before  the  use  of  bells  had  become  general  in  the  Church 
it  was  customary  to  employ  in  their  stead  signal  or  sound- 
ing boards,  called  semantro7is,  which  used  to  be  struck  with 
a  mallet  of  hard  wood.  These  are  yet  in  use  in  most  of  the 
Oriental  churches,  especially  in  those  within  the  Turkish 
dominions  ;  for  it  is  the  belief  of  the  followers  of  the  Koran 
that  the  ringing  of  regular  bells  disquiets  the  souls  of  the 
departed  dead.  Hence  it  is  considered  a  great  privilege  in 
the  East,  wherever  Mahometanism  prevails,  to  be  allowed 

148  Bells. 

the  use  of  bells  in  divine  service,  and  but  few  churches 
enjoy  it.  Ali  Pasha,  in  order  to  conciliate  his  Christian 
subjects  and  win  their  esteem,  granted  the  privilege  to  the 
churches  of  Joannina,  capital  of  Albania  (Neale,  Holy  East- 
ern Church,  i.  p.  216).  They  were  also  allowed  at  Argen- 
tiera,  or  Khimoli,  in  the  Archipelago  (ibid.)  ;  and  of  late 
their  use  was  extended  to  the  Church  of  the  Holy  Se- 
pulchre at  Jerusalem,  where  the  sound  of  a  bell  had  not 
been  heard  since  the  time  of  the  Crusades. 

Of  the  semantrons  there  were  two  kinds,  one  made  of 
wood,  the  other  of  iron.  The  former  consisted  for  the 
most  part  of  a  long  piece  of  hard,  well-planed  timber, 
usually  of  the  heart  of  maple,  of  from  ten  to  twelve  feet 
in  length,  a  foot  and  a  half  in  breadth,  and  about  nine 
inches  thick.  In  the  centre  of  this  piece  of  wood  was  a  catch 
in  which  to  insert  the  hand  while  striking  with  the  mallet. 
Persons  who  have  heard  these  semantrons  assure  us  that 
the  noise  they  make  when  struck  by  this  mallet  is  perfectly 
deafening.  The  sound  emitted  by  the  semantrons  called 
hagiosidera  (because  made  of  iron)  is  generally  very  musi- 
cal, and  consequently  less  grating  on  the  ear  than  that 
produced  by  those  made  of  wood.  These  hagiosidera  are 
generally  shaped  like  a  crescent,  and  their  sound  differs 
little  from  that  of  a  Chinese  gong.  They  are  much  in 
use  in  the  East. 

With  the  Syrians  the  semantron  is  held  in  the  greatest 
veneration,  for  the  reason  that  a  tradition  of  long  standing 
among  them  ascribes  its  invention  to  Noe,  who,  according 
to  them,  was  thus  addressed  by  Almighty  God  on  the  eve  of 
the  building  of  the  ark  :  "  Make  for  yourself  a  bell  of  box- 
wood, which  is  not  liable  to  corruption,  three  cubits  long  and 
one  and  a  half  wide,  and  also  a  mallet  from  the  same  wood. 
Strike  this  instrument  three  separate  times  every  day : 
once  in  the  morning  to  summon   the  hands  to  the  ark, 

Ancient  Substitute  for  Bells.  149 

once  at  midday  to  call  them  to  dinner,  and  once  in  the 
evening  to  invite  them  to  rest."  The  Syrians  strike  their 
semantrons  when  the  Divine  Office  is  going  to  begin  and 
when  it  is  time  to  summon  the  people  to  public  prayer 
(Lamy,  Be  Fide  Syrorum  et  Discip.  in  re  Eucharistice). 
The  peculiar  symbolism  attached  to  this  "Holy  Wood," 
as  the  semantron  is  often  denominated,  is,  to  say  the 
least,  very  significant  and  touching.  The  sound  of  the 
wood,  for  instance,  recalls  to  mind  the  fact  that  it  was 
the  wood  of  the  Garden  of  Eden  which  caused  Adam  to 
fall  when  he  plucked  its  fruit  contrary  to  the  command  of 
God ;  now  the  same  sound  recalls  another  great  event  to 
mind — viz.,  the  noise  made  in  nailing  to  the  wood  of  the 
cross  the  Saviour  of  the  world  who  came  to  atone  for 
Adam's  transgression.  This  idea  is  beautifully  expressed 
in  the  "Preface  of  the  Cross." 

That  the  Nestorians  use  bells  in  their  service  we  are  in- 
formed by  Smith  and  Dwight  (Researches  in  Armenia,  ii. 
p.  261),  who,  though  rather  dangerous  to  follow  on  account 
of  their  narrow-minded  bigotry,  yet  may  be  relied  on  when 
treating  of  subjects  which  do  not  excite  their  prejudices. 
They  tell  us  that  when  the  small  bell  is  sounded  the  people 
cross  themselves  and  bow  their  heads  a  minute  or  two  in 
silent  adoration.     This  is,  very  likely,  at  the  Elevation. 

With  the  Armenians  there  is  an  almost  incessant  ringing 
of  bells  during  Mass.  These  bells  are  for  the  most  part  en- 
trusted to  the  custody  of  deacons,  who  carry  them  attached 
to  the  circumference  of  circular  plates  held  in  the  hand  by 
long  handles.  Large  bells  suspended  from  the  domes  of 
their  churches  are  also  employed  (ibid.  ii.  p.  101). 

The  Abyssmians,  or  Ethiopians,  ring  large  bells  during 
the  elevation  of  the  Sacred  Species. 

According  to  Goar  (Euchol.,  p.  560),  bells  were  not  used 
by  the  Oriental  Church  before  the  end  of  the  ninth  century, 

150  Bells. 

when  TTrso,  Doge  of  Venice,  sent  twelve  as  a  present  to  the 
Emperor  Michael,  who  afterwards  placed  them  in  the  cam- 
panile of  the  Church  of  Holy  Wisdom  at  Constantinople 
(Bona,  p.  259). 

At  Mount  Athos — called  in  the  East  the  "  Holy  Moun- 
tain," from  the  vast  number  of  its  monasteries — bells  are 
very  much  in  vogue.  The  Monastery  of  St.  Elias,  on  the 
island  of  Crete,  has  some  of  rare  excellence  ;  and  that  they 
are  held  in  general  esteem  by  the  Cretans  themselves  may 
be  inferred  from  one  of  their  ancient  ballads,  a  stanza  of 
which  runs  thus  (Neale,  216)  : 

"  It  was  a  Sunday  morning, 

And  the  bells  were  chiming  free 
To  welcome  in  the  Easter 
At  Hagio  Kostandi."a 

The  attachment  of  the  Kussians  to  bells  is  known  the 
world  over.  Every  church  in  the  Kremlin  3  is  loaded  with 
them  ;  and  they  are  of  such  enormous  size  that  several  men 
are  required  to  ring  one  of  them.  The  great  tower  of  Ivan 
Veliki  has  as  many  as  thirty-three,  among  which  is  the 
famous  bell  of  Novgorod,  whose  sound  ubed  to  call  people 
together  from  very  distant  parts.  This  immense  bell  is, 
however,  but  a  hand-bell  in  comparison  to  the  great  monster 
bell  of  the  world,  known  as  "  Ivan  Veliki,"  or  Big  John,  of 
Moscow,  for  which  no  belfry  could  be  built  strong  enough. 
It  weighs  216  tons — that  is,  432,000  pounds.  It  is  yet  on  ex- 
hibition in  the  Kremlin,  where  for  years  past  it  has  been 

'The  words  "Hagio  Kostandi"  refer  to  Constantinople— i.e.,  the  Holy  City  of 

•  As  there  is  nothing  more  contemptible  than  pedantry,  we  follow  general  custom 
in  spelling  this  word  as  it  18  spelled  here,  although  we  know  it  is  properly  spelled 
Kreml,  which  in  Arabic  means  a  fortified  place.  The  Kremlin  at  Moscow  is  two 
miles  in  circumference,  and  contams  a  vast  number  of  magnificent  churches  ;  that  of 
the  Assumption  ib  where  the  r^rs  are  always  crowned. 

Bells  silent  in  Holy  Week.  151 

serving  as  a  chapel,  the  people  entering  through  the  large 
crack  made  in  its  side  when  in  process  of  casting  (Koma- 
noif,  Rites  and  Customs  of  the  Greco-Russian  Church,  p. 
259  ;  Porter's  Travels^  p.  163  ;  Encyclopedia  Britannica, 
art.  "Bell").4 


Some  writers  have  asserted,  but  altogether  gratuitously, 
that  during  the  days  of  persecution  the  faithful  were  sum- 
moned to  divine  service  by  the  sound  of  those  boards  called 
semantrons,  of  which  we  have  been  speaking  ;  but  a  moment's 
reflection  will  convince  us  that  this  cannot  be  true,  for  it  is 
well  known  that  in  those  times  of  trouble  the  utmost  care 
had  to  be  taken  in  order  that  the  gatherings  of  the  faithful 
might  be  entirely  private,  lest  the  pagans,  hearing  of  them, 
might  make  them  a  pretext  for  new  persecution.  It  is 
false,  then,  to  assert  that  any  public  signal  was  given  for 
gathering  together  the  Christians,  but  rather  that  they  were 
assembled  by  some  secret  signs  known  among  themselves,  or 
carried  from  one  quarter  to  another  by  specially-deputed 
persons.  This  is  the  view  taken  by  Cardinal  Bona  (see  Rer. 
Liturg.,  p.  259),  by  Baronius,  and  many  other  eminent 
writers.  We  have  stated  already  that  semantrons  were  used 
instead  of  bells  in  the  early  days,  but  by  early  days  we 
meant  not  the  days  of  persecution,  but  only  those  which 
followed  closely  upon  the  age  of  Constantine  the  Great. 


As  there  is  a  mixture  more  or  less  of  joy  and  solemnity  in 
the  ringing  of  bells,  it  has  been  customary  from  time  imme- 

*  The  largest  bells  in  the  world  in  actual  use  are  :  the  second  Moscow  hell,  which 
weighs  128  tons  ;  the  Kaiserglocke  of  Cologne  Cathedral,  25  tons  ;  the  great  hell  of 
Pekin,  53  tons ;  the  bell  of  Notre  Dame,  17  tons  ;  Big  Ben  of  Westminster,  14  tons ; 
Tom  of  Lincoln,  5  tons. 

152  Bells. 

morial  to  suspend  their  use  during  the  last  days  of  Holy 
Week,  when  the  entire  Church  is  in  mourning  for  the 
Passion  and  death  of  our  Divine  Saviour.  Hence  it  is  that 
in  many  ancient  documents  this  week  is  called  the  "  Still 
Week";  in  others,  the  "Week  of  Suffering."  The  bells 
are  silent  from  the  "  Gloria  in  excelsis  "  in  the  Mass  of  Holy 
Thursday  until  the  "  Gloria "  on  Holy  Saturday,  when  a 
joyful  and  solemn  peal  is  rung  in  memory  of  the  glorious 
resurrection  of  our  Saviour.  During  the  silence  of  the  bells 
little  wooden  clappers  are  used  after  the  manner  of  the 
ancient  semantrons,  and  are  rung  at  all  those  parts  of  the 
Mass,  such  as  at  the  "  Sanctus,"  Elevation,  Communion, 
etc.,  at  which  the  usual  bell  would  be  sounded. 

According  to  Pope  Benedict  XIV.  (De  Festis,  No.  174), 
bells  are  silent  this  week  for  the  mystic  reason  that  they 
typify  the  preachers  of  the  word  of  God,  and  all  preaching 
was  suspended  from  our  Lord's  apprehension  until  after  he 
had  risen  from  the  dead.  The  apostles,  too,  when  they  saw 
his  bitter  torments,  and  the  indignities  he  was  subjected 
to  by  the  Jews,  stole  away  from  him  silently  and  left  him 
alone.  Durandus  gives  many  more  mystic  reasons  for  the 
silence  observed  these  three  days  (Rationale,  p.  512). 

The  reader  will  do  well  to  bear  in  mind  that  inasmuch  as 
the  divine  offices  of  Holy  Week  have  a  greater  antiquity 
than  any  others  within  the  annual  cycle,  they  bear  the  Im- 
press yet  of  many  early  liturgical  customs,  all  of  which,  as 
we  have  taken  care  to  note  elsewhere,  the  Church  clings  to 
with  fond  tenacity. 



For  the  valid  consecration  of  the  Holy  Eucharist  bread 
made  of  wheat  (panis  triticeus),  and  no  other,  must  be  em- 
ployed. According  to  the  discipline  of  the  Latin  Church, 
this  bread  must  be  unleavened,  must  have  nothing  temper- 
ing or  mixing  it  but  water,  and  must  be  baked  after  the 
manner  of  ordinary  bread,  and  not  stewed,  fried,  or  boiled. 


No  question  has  given  rise  to  more  warm  dispute  than 
that  which  touches  the  use  of  leavened  or  unleavened  bread 
in  the  preparation  of  the  Holy  Eucharist.  Cardinal  Bona 
tells  us  in  his  wonted  modest  way  what  a  storm  of  indig- 
nation he  brought  down  upon  himself  when  he  stated  in 
his  great  work  on  the  Mass  and  its  ceremonies  that  the 
use  of  leavened  and  unleavened  bread  was  common  in  the 
Latin  Church  until  the  beginning  of  the  tenth  century, 
when  unleavened  bread  became  obligatory  on  all.  "We  shall 
not  now  go  over  the  ground  which  the  learned  cardinal 
did  to  prove  this  assertion,  but  we  shall  simply  say  for  the 
instruction  of  the  reader  that  his  opinion  is  embraced  by 
almost  all  writers  on  sacred  liturgy.  That  the  use  of  un- 
leavened bread,  or  azymes,  was  never  intermitted  in  the 
Latin  Church  from  the  very  institution  of  the  Blessed 
Eucharist  itself  all  are  willing  to  admit ;  but  it  is  very 
commonly  held  that  when  the  Ebionite   heretics   taught 


154  Bread  used  for  Consecration, 

that  the  precepts  of  the  ancient  law  were  binding  upon 
Christian  people,  and  that,  in  consequence,  the  Eucharist 
could  not  be  celebrated  at  all  unless  the  bread  our  Lord  used 
— viz.,  unleavened — were  employed,  the  Church  also  sanc- 
tioned the  use  of  leavened  bread  to  confound  this  teaching, 
and  that  this  remained  in  force  until  all  traces  of  the  Ebio- 
nites  had  died  away.  This  statement  has  for  its  supporters 
several  eminent  theologians,  among  whom  are  Alexander  of 
Hales,  Duns  Scotus,  St.  Bonaventure,  and  St.  Thomas  Aqui- 
nas (see  Cardinal  Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  lib.  i.  cap.  xxiii. ; 
Kozma,  238 ;  Neale,  Holy  Eastern  Church,  "  On  the  Con- 
troversy concerning  the  Azymes,"  vol.  ii.) 

In  so  far  as  the  validity  of  the  sacrament  is  concerned, 
both  the  Latin  and  Greek  churches  have  always  held  that 
consecration  takes  place  in  either  kind,  and  that  the  use  of 
leavened  or  unleavened  bread  is  altogether  a  matter  of  dis- 
cipline and  not  of  dogma.  The  latter  Church,  too,  acknow- 
ledges (at  least  the  ancient  Greek  Church  did),  equally  with 
the  former,  that  our  Lord  used  unleavened  bread  at  the  Last 
Supper,  but  that  for  very  wise  reasons  the  early  Church 
thought  well  to  introduce  leavened  bread,  and  that  when 
itself  (i.e.,  the  Greek  Church)  adopted  this  custom  it  held 
on  to  it  without  change  (Neale,  ii.  1059,  and  1073-34).  It 
must  not  be  concealed  that  the  turbulent  Michael  Cerula- 
lius,  Patriarch  of  Constantinople  in  1043,  in  order  to  make 
the  rupture  between  the  two  churches  as  great  as  possible, 
went  so  far  as  to  assert  that  consecration  in  any  other  bread 
but  leavened  was  invalid,  and  that  hence  the  whole  Latin 
Church  was  heretical  because  it  used  unleavened.  But  the 
Eastern  theologians  never  adopted  this  teaching ;  nor  is  it 
held  to-day,  although,  with  the  exception  of  the  Armenians 
and  Maronites,  all  the  Oriental  churches  follow  the  Greek 
discipline  in  the  use  of  leavened  bread. 

We  have  said  that,  according  to  the  consent  of  both 

Devices  used  in  Stamping  the  Bread.  155 

churches,  consecration  is  valid  in  either  kind;  the  disci- 
pline, however,  of  the  Latin  Church  is  so  strict  in  the  mat- 
ter of  unleavened  bread  that,  were  a  priest  of  her  com- 
munion to  consecrate  m  any  other  kind  without  a  special 
dispensation,  he  would  sin  mortally.  He  could  not  even 
do  so  were  it  to  fulfil  the  precept  of  hearing  Mass  on  Sun- 
day  or  give  the  Holy  Viaticum  to  the  dying.  The  only  case 
in  which  it  is  allowed  is  when,  through  some  accident  or 
other,  the  Sacred  Host  disappears  immediately  after  conse- 
cration, and  no  other  bread  is  at  hand  but  leavened.  The 
latter  may  then  be  used  in  order  to  the  completion  of  the 
Sacrifice  (De  Herdt,  ii.  p.  167,  No.  3). 


The  breads  for  the  use  of  the  altar  are  baked  between 
heated  irons  upon  which  is  stamped  some  pious  device, 
such  as  the  Crucifixion,  the  Lamb  of  God,  or  a  simple  cross. 
The  instrument  used  for  this  purpose  somewhat  resembles  a 
large  forceps  in  appearance.  It  has  two  long  handles,  and 
at  its  extremities  is  a  pair  of  circular  heads,  one  overlap- 
ping the  other.  After  this  instrument  has  been  sufficiently 
heated  in  the  fire  a  little  lard  or  butter  is  rubbed  over  its 
surface  to  keep  the  paste  from  adhering.  A  thin  coating  of 
this  paste  is  then  spread  over  the  surface  of  the  under  disc, 
and  the  upper  one  being  allowed  to  rest  on  it  a  moment  or 
two,  it  is  taken  out  perfectly  baked.  The  irons  are  then 
separated,  and  the  bread  is  taken  out  and  trimmed  for  use. 


At  the  present  day  there  is  no  particular  device  pre- 
scribed to  be  impressed  upon  the  altar-breads.  Every 
church  is  allowed  to  abound  in  its  own  choice  in  this  re- 
spect.    In  some  places  a  representation  of  our  Lord  cruci- 

156  Bread  used  for  Consecration, 

fied  is  the  impression;  in  others  the  "Agnus  Dei."  We 
have  also  seen  breads  upon  which  the  first  and  last  letters  of 
the  Greek  alphabet  were  stamped,  in  allusion  to  our  Lord's 
saying  in  the  Apocalypse,  "I  am  Alpha  and  Omega,  the  firsi 
and  the  last,  the  beginning  and  the  end."  The  most  gene- 
ral device,  however,  is,  as  we  believe,  the  ancient  and 
sacred  monogram  "IHS,"  or,  as  it  was  formerly  written, 
"IHC."  As  to  the  precise  interpretation  of  this  "IHS" 
there  has  been  much  dispute;  some  contending  that  it 
means  (at  least  that  its  letters  are  the  initials  of)  "Jesus 
Hominum  Salvator" — Jesus,  the  Saviour  of  Men — others 
that  they  are  the  initials  of  "  I  Have  Suffered."  Other  in- 
terpretations are  given  of  them  which  we  do  not  deem  ne- 
cessary to  state.  The  truth,  however,  is  that  they  are  the 
three  first  letters  of  our  Lord's  sacred  name  in  Greek,  viz., 
IH20T2,  and  that  as  such  they  were  very  commonly  em- 
ployed as  a  sacred  device  on  the  Christian  tombs  during  the 
days  of  persecution.  They  are  yet  to  be  seen  inscribed  in 
many  places  in  the  Roman  catacombs  (see  Justorum  Semita  ; 
or,  The  Holydays  of  the  English  Church,  p.  335  ;  Holy  Name 
of  Jesus;  also,  Dublin  Review,  vol.  xliv.,  1858,  art.  "Pri- 
macy of  St.  Peter"). 

The  interpretation  "Jesus,  the  Saviour  of  Men"  first 
originated  with  St.  Bernardine  of  Sienna,  in  1443,  and  was 
brought  about  in  this  way :  The  saint,  it  seems,  had  oc- 
casion to  reprove  a  certain  man  for  selling  cards  with  dan- 
gerous devices  impressed  upon  them.  The  man  tried  to  de- 
fend his  cause  by  saying  that  he  could  not  earn  a  living  in 
any  other  manner,  but  that  if  Saint  Bernardine  offered  a 
device  instead  of  those  he  himself  used,  and  assured  him 
that  he  would  not  be  a  loser  in  adopting  it,  he  would 
at  once  abandon  those  he  had ;  whereupon  the  saint  re- 
commended the  letters  "IHS,"  telling  the  man  that  they 
stood  for  "  Jesus  Hominum  Salvator."    They  were  at  once 

By  whom  the  Breads  are  Made.  15T 

adopted,  and  their  success  was  complete  (see  Gleanings  foi 
the  Curious,  by  0.  C.  Bombaugh,  A.M.,  pp.  98,  99). 


Although  it  would  be  more  proper  that  the  breads  for 
altar  purposes  should  be  made  by  the  sacred  ministers  them- 
selves, yet,  as  the  modern  way  of  making  and  preparing 
them  for  use  is  open  to  no  abuse,  the  duty  is  often  entrusted 
to  pious  members  of  the  congregation — for  the  most  part  to 
the  Sisters  who  may  be  attached  to  any  particular  church. 

In  ancient  times  it  was  considered  a  great  honor  to  be 
allowed  to  make  these  breads,  and  we  find  some  of  the  nobles 
of  the  land  offering  their  services  for  this  pious  work.  It  is 
related  of  St.  Wenceslaus,  Duke  of  Bohemia  (tenth  century), 
that  he  used  to  sow  the  wheat  in  the  field  with  his  own 
Lands,  cut  it  down  afterwards  when  ripe,  winnow  it  himself, 
grind  it  into  flour,  and  finally  make  it  into  bread  for  the  use 
of  the  Holy  Sacrifice  (Martene,  De  Antiquis  Eccl.  Ritibus, 
f.  13  ;  Lives  of  the  Saints,  September  28).  A  similar  story 
is  related  of  St.  Radegunde,  Queen  of  France,  in  the  sixth 

In  the  good  old  days  of  Catholic  England  the  synodical 
decrees  relating  to  the  making  of  the  altar-bread  were  very 
strict,  as  the  following  will  show  :  "  We  also  command  that 
the  ofletes  ■  which  in  the  Holy  Mystery  ye  offer  to  God  ye 
either  bake  yourselves  or  your  servants  before  you,  that  ye 
may  know  that  it  is  neatly  and  cleanly  done "  (Dr.  Rock, 
Church  of  Our  Fathers,  vol.  i.  p.  156,  note).  The  Bishop 
of  Lincoln  (thirteenth  century)  thus  addressed  the  clergy 

1  This  was  the  Anglo-Saxon  name  for  the  altar-bread.  It  was  also  called  obUy 
(evidently  from  the  Latin  dblata)  and  "  singing-bread.1'  Dr.  Rock  conjectures  that  the 
latter  name  must  have  been  given  it  from  the  fact  that  it  was  used  at  High  Mass  ;  but 
we  venture  to  say  that  it  was  so  named  because  during  its  preparation  a  constant  singing 
of  psalms  and  hymns  was  kept  up,  which,  as  we  shall  see,  is  yet  the  practice  in  the 

158  Bread  used  for  Consecration. 

of  his  diocese :  "  More  care  than  ordinary  must  be  taken 
to  see  that  the  ofletes  be  made  of  pure  wheat.  While  the 
work  of  preparing  them  is  going  on  the  ministers  of  the 
church  who  make  them  ought  to  sit  in  a  decent  place  and 
be  dressed  in  surplices.  The  instrument  for  baking  these 
ofletes  ought  to  be  anointed  with  wax  only,  not  with  oil  01 
any  greasy  material "  {ibid.) 


Up  to  the  eleventh  century  the  custom  was  almost  gene- 
ral of  communicating  the  people  from  particles  of  the  large 
Host  which  the  priest  used ;  hence  this  must  have  been  of 
far  greater  proportions  than  it  is  now  (Kozma,  239).  When 
the  custom  of  thus  communicating  the  people  ceased,  small 
Hosts  were  introduced,  which  still  bore  the  name  of  parti- 
cles, and  the  priest's  Host  became  smaller  in  size. 


From  time  immemorial  it  has  been  customary  to  have  the 
Host,  or  altar-bread,  of  a  circular  form.  This  can  be  traced 
as  far  back  at  least  as  the  third  century,  for  Pope  Zephy- 
rinus,  who  died  a.d.  217,  calls  the  bread  a  " crown  of 
a  spherical  figure " — Corona  sive  oblata  sphericce  figures 
(Benedict  XIV.,  c.  5).  Severus  of  Alexandria,  styled  the 
"  Christian  Sallust,"  who  flourished  in  the  fourth  century, 
calls  it  simply  the  "  circle"  (Martene,  De  Antiquis  Ecclesim 
Ritibus,  14).  According  to  Duranclus,  who  is  never  at  a 
loss  for  a  mystical  meaning,  the  bread  is  circular,  in  the 
shape  of  a  coin,  to  remind  us  that  the  true  Bread  of  Life, 
our  Divine  Redeemer,  was  sold  by  Judas  for  thirty  pieces  of 
silver  {Rationale  Divinorum,  p.  256). 


It  is  Tery  generally  known  that  the  entire  Eastern  Church, 

Ceremonies  attending  the  Making  of  Altar-Bread,     159 

with  the  sole  exception  of  the  Armenians  and  Maronites, 
uses  leavened  bread  in  the  preparation  of  the  Holy  Eucha- 
rist. Whether  it  has  kept  up  this  practice  from  the  begin- 
ning or  not  we  leave  others  to  settle.  Some  are  of  opin- 
ion that  it  has,  and  others,  for  very  weighty  reasons,  say 
that  it  has  not ;  but  the  point  is  one  of  small  consequence 
so  long  as  all  agree  in  admitting  that  consecration  takes 
place,  no  matter  which  of  the  two  kinds  is  used. 

According  to  Pococke  {Travels  in  Egypt),  the  Copts  also 
use  unleavened  bread ;  but  this  is  certainly  a  mistake,  for 
no  author  that  we  have  seen  makes  such  an  assertion.  Ii 
this  were  the  case,  Renaudot,  who  describes  the  Coptic  cere- 
monies and  customs  most  minutely,  would  certainly  have 
made  mention  of  it,  or  it  would  be  referred  to  by  Denzinger 
in  his  Ritus  Orientalium. 

Brerewood,  in  that  hodge-podge  entitled  Enquiries 
touching  the  Diversity  of  Languages  and  Religions,  Lon- 
don, 1674,  asserts  that  the  Abyssinian s  do  the  same— 
ue.9  consecrate  in  unleavened  bread.  But  as  this  author 
paid  little  or  no  attention  to  what  he  said,  and  took  his  in- 
formation, in  most  cases,  second  hand,  little  reliance  is  to 
be  placed  on  any  statement  that  he  makes  which  does  not 
square  with  what  has  been  said  by  approved  authorities. 
He  says  also  that  Thecla  Haimonout,  an  Abyssinian  priest, 
stated  that  they  celebrate  ordinarily  in  leavened  bread,  but 
that  they  use  unleavened  on  Holy  Thursday  (p.  203).  This 
may  have  been  done  at  one  time,  but  it  is  not  now. 


The  respect  manifested  by  the  Orientals  even  for  the  un- 
consecrated  bread,  to  say  nothing  of  the  Holy  Eucharist 
itself,  is  worthy  of  all  admiration.  And  to  begin  with  the 
Copts,  of  whom  we  have  been  sneaking :  So  verv  particular 

160  Bread  used  for  Consecration. 

are  they  about  the  sacrificial  bread  that  they  deem  it  pro- 
fane to  purchase  the  grain  used  in  making  it  with  any  other 
money  than  that  which  has  been  set  aside  for  church  pur- 
poses. The  wheat,  too,  when  made  into  flour,  must  always 
be  kept  in  the  church,  where  is  also  the  oven  in  which  the 
breads  are  baked.  During  the  process  of  making  these 
breads  a  constant  chanting  of  psalms  is  kept  up  by  the 
clerics  to  whom  the  work  is  entrusted,  and  the  whole  thing 
is  looked  upon  as  a  sacred  duty  (Pococke,  Travels  in  Egypt). 
Their  discipline  requires  that  the  bread  be  new,  fresh,  and 
pure ;  in  fact,  according  to  their  canons,  that  of  yesterday's 
making  could  not  be  used  in  saying  Mass  to-day,  but  newly- 
made  bread  must  be  offered — i.e.,  bread  made  the  same 
morning  that  Mass  is  said.  On  no  account  must  this  be 
made  by  a  female.  A  violation  of  this  rule  would  subject 
the  offender  to  excommunication.  "  It  is  meet,"  says  one 
of  their  constitutional^  laws,  "  that  the  Eucharist ic  bread 
should  be  baked  nowhere  else  but  in  the  oven  of  the  church. 
Let  not  a  female  knead  it  or  bake  it.  He  who  acts  con- 
trary to  this,  let  him  be  anathema"  (Kenaudot,  Liturg. 
Oriental.  Coll.,  i.  p.  172). 

The  Syrian  bread,  called  Xatha,  is  made  of  the  finest  and 
purest  flour,  and  is  tempered  with  water,  oil  of  olives,  salt, 
and  leaven.  They  defend  the  use  of  oil  in  making  it  by 
saying  that  it  is  merely  employed  in  order  that  the  paste 
may  not  adhere  to  the  hands.  The  entire  operation  is  car- 
ried on  within  the  church  by  a  priest  or  deacon  ;  it  is  wholly 
forbidden  to  entrust  its  preparation  to  any  one  not  in  sa- 
cred orders  (ibid. ;  and  Lamy,  De  Fide  Syrorum  et  Discip. 
in  re  Eucharist  ice).  One  of  the  Syrian  canons  on  this  head 
runs  as  follows  :  "  Let  the  priest  or  deacon  who  prepares 
the  bread  of  oblation  take  care  to  have  the  mould  clean, 
and  to  have  a  vessel  for  the  purpose  of  straining  the  water 
and  oil ;  he  must  be  careful  not  to  let  it  be  handled  by  a 

Bread  used  by  the  Greek  Church. 


lay  person.  Besides  this,  he  must  have  his  loins  girt,  shoes 
on  his  feet,  be  turned  towards  the  east,  and  have  his  face 
veiled  with  an  amice.  Psalms  must  accompany  this  minis- 
try" (Lamy,  ibid.) 

The  discipline  of  the  Armenians  also  requires  that  the 
bread  be  made  by  the  sacred  ministers.  Their  bread  is  un- 
leavened, like  ours. 


The  bread  used  by  the  Greeks  is  round,  like  a  large 
griddle-cake,  and  rising  from  its  surface  is  a  square  pro- 
jection denominated  the  Holy  Lamb,  which,  when  cut  off 



Holt  Lance. 

afterwards  by  the  Holy  Lance,  becomes,  properly  speaking, 
the  sacrificial  Host.  What  remains  of  the  loaf  when  the 
square  projection  has  been  taken  away  is  divided  into  seve- 
ral small  particles,  which  are  arranged  in  groups  and  dedi- 
cated to  the  Blessed  Virgin,  the  apostles,  saints,  and  mar- 
tyrs, as  well  as  the  living 
and  the  dead  (Goar,  Eu- 
chol.  Grcec,,  p.  116 ;  Prim- 
itive Liturgies,  pp.  120  and 
183,  by  Neale  and  Little- 
dale).  The  square  projec- 
tion itself   is    divided  into 

four   equal  portions    after 

_,  .  Host  op  the  Greeks. 

consecration.      When  cut- 
ting off  the  Holy  Lamb  from  the  large  loaf  the   Greek 

162  Bread  used  for  Consecration. 

priest  says,  as  he  inserts  the  lance  in  the  right  side  of  the 
seal  (that  is,  the  impression  stamped  upon  the  bread), 
"He  was  led  as  a  sheep  to  the  slaughter";  when  insert- 
ing it  into  the  left,  "And  as  a  blameless  lamb  dumb 
before  his  shearers,  he  opened  not  his  mouth."  Inserting 
it  into  the  upper  part,  he  says,  "  In  his  humiliation  his 
judgment  was  taken  away";  into  the  lower,  "And  who 
shall  declare  his  generation  ? "  The  deacon  says  at  each 
incision,  "Let  us  make  our  supplications  to  the  Lord." 
By  the  quadrangular  form  of  the  holy  bread  the  Greeks 
intend  to  signify  that  Christ  our  Lord  suffered  for  the  four 
quarters  of  the  globe  (Martene,  De  Antiquis  Eccl.  Ritibus, 
I  15). 


Considerable  diversity  exists  in  the  East  in  relation  to  the 
devices  employed  in  stamping  the  altar-bread.  The  Syrians 
use  only  a  number  of  small  crosses ;  the  Nestorians  the 
same.  The  Coptic  Host  has  upon  one  side,  "  A'yioS, 
A'yioty  Ar'yioS,  KvpwS  ^aftecoS  " —  that  is,  Holy,  Holy, 
Holy,  Lord  of  Hosts;  and  upon  the  other,  "A"yioZ 
lGXvPo*" — Holy  Strong  One.  The  latter  is  part  of  the 
famous  Trisagion  which  the  Eastern  Church  employs  in 
every  day's  service,  but  which  the  Latin  Church  only  re- 
peats once  a  year,  in  the  Mass  of  Good  Friday.  This  sacred 
iiymn  has  a  peculiar  and  interesting  history  attached  to  it. 
In  the  time  of  Theodosius  the  Younger,  a.d.  446,  Constan- 
tinople was  threatened  by  so  dreadful  an  earthquake  that 
all  believed  the  end  of  the  world  at  hand.  The  wildest  con- 
fusion reigned  throughout  the  city  as  the  first  signs  of  this 
untoward  calamity  manifested  themselves.  Men,  women, 
and  children  ran  frantic  through  the  streets,  and  the  utmost 
consternation  was  depicted  on  every  countenance.    In  this 

Inscriptions  impressed  on  the  Holy  Bread.         163 

dreadful  juncture  Theodosius  addressed  a  petition  to  St. 
Proclus,  archbishop  of  the  imperial  city,  earnestly  beseech- 
ing him  to  ask  of  Almighty  God  to  avert  the  impending 
calamity.  The  saintly  man  acceded  at  once  to  the  emperor's 
wishes.  He  according- 
ly formed  a  procession 
of  all  his  clergy  and 
people,  and,  with  the 
attendance  of  all  the 
members  of  the  royal 
court,  marched  a  little 
outside  the  city,  and 
then  knelt  down  with 
the  entire  multitude 
in  solemn  and  earnest 
prayer.  They  had  not 
been  kneeling  long 
when,  to  the  great 
astonishment  of  all,  a  child  was  seen  in  the  clouds  above 
them,  moving  from  one  place  to  another,  and  singing  loud 
enough  to  be  heard  by  the  spectators.  After  the  lapse 
of  about  an  hour  the  child  descended,  singing,  "A"yioS 
IffXvpoS,  AnyioS  6  ®sd$,  jCyioS  ASavaroS,  eXerfaov 
fa&s"— that  is,  Holy  Strong  One,  Holy  God,  Holy  Im- 
mortal One,  have  mercy  on  us !  Upon  being  questioned  as 
to  the  object  of  this  singing,  the  child  replied  that  he  had 
heard  the  angelic  choir  sing  this  sacred  anthem  at  the 
throne  of  God,  and  that  if  the  people  wished  to  avert  the 
terrors  of  the  earthquake  they  should  sing  it  also.  It  was 
taken  up  at  once,  and  tranquillity  was  restored  (Goar,  Eu- 
:  chol.  GrcBcorum,  p.  126  ;  Neale,  Holy  Eastern  Church,  i.  p. 
367).  The  emperor  afterwards  issued  a  decree  causing  it  to 
be  universally  adopted,  and  it  is  said  that  St.  Proclus  had 
it  inserted   in    the  liturgies  of  Constantinople   (Ferraris, 

Host  op  the  Copts. 

164  Bread  used  for  Consecration. 

BibliotJieca ;  Butler's  Lives  of  the  Saints,  Oct.  24,  St.  Pro* 

The  small  crosses  that  appear  on  the  face  of  the  Coptic 
bread  are  in  memory,  it  is  said,  of  a  celebrated  discourse  of 
St.  John  Chrysostom  on  the  divinity  of  our  Lord,  in  which 
Jhe  word  cross  appears  several  times.  Martene  tells  us  that 
the  seals  used  by  the  Oriental  patriarchs  for  stamping  tlu 
altar-bread  differ  much  from  those  used  by  the  priests.  The 
inscription  on  the  Greek  Host— viz.,  "IX.  NIKA"— -is  trans- 
lated "Jesus  Christ  conquers." 



I?  we  except  the  Aquarians  alone,  who  said  that  water 
may  be  employed  instead  of  wine  in  the  consecration  of  the 
chalice,  no  dispute  has  ever  arisen  upon  this  subject ;  all  are 
at  one  in  holding  that  for  the  valid  consecration  of  this 
species  the  juice  of  the  grape  (vinum  de  vite)  is  necessary. 
Nor  does  it  matter  as  to  the  color  of  the  wine  ;  some  prefer 
red,  others  white  wine,  but  this  is  altogether  a  matter  of 
taste.  One  great  advantage  that  red  wine  has  is  this  :  that 
there  is  no  danger  of  mistaking  it  for  water,  owing  to  its 
resemblance  in  color  to  blood. 


The  discipline  of  the  Oriental  and  the  Western  Church 
are  in  perfect  agreement  regarding  the  sacrificial  wine.  An 
abuse,  however,  exists  among  the  Copts  which,  though  not 
resorted  to  save  in  extreme  cases,  is  still  deserving  of  con- 
demnation. We  refer  to  the  employment  of  what  is  called 
zebib  instead  of  pure  juice  of  the  grape.  Pococke,  in 
his  Travels  in  Egypt,  art.  "  The  Religion  of  the  Copts," 
describes  the  process  of  making  this  very  doubtful  wine 
as  follows :  "  In  the  Catholic  churches  they  must  use 
wine,  but  in  the  others  they  use  what  they  call  zebib. 
.  .  .  Zebib  is  a  sort  of  raisin  wine.  They  put  five  ro- 
tolas  of  new  grapes  to  five  of  water,  or  more  grapes  are 
used  if  they  are  older.      It  is  left  to   steep   seven  days 


166  Wine. 

in  winter  and  four  in  summer.  The  deacons  strain  it 
through  two  bags,  one  after  another,  to  make  it  fine. 
This  keeps  seven  years,  and  tastes  like  a  sweet  wine  that 
is  turned  a  little  sour.  They  keep  the  zebib  in  a  jar, 
and  cover  it  closely  so  that  no  wind  can  come  to  it."  Be 
all  this  as  it  may,  the  canons  of  the  Coptic  Church  are  very 
clear  and  strong  upon  the  point  that  no  other  wine  but  the 
unadulterated  juice  of  the  grape  must  be  used  for  Mass  pur- 
poses ;  and  so  particular  are  they  that  this  shall  be  of  the 
finest  quality  that  they  will  allow  no  one  to  have  anything 
to  do  with  its  preparation  but  the  ministers  of  the  altar. 
To  this  end  the  grapes  are  picked  with  great  care,  and  are 
bruised  between  the  hands  in  extracting  the  juice  from 
them,  instead  of  being  trodden  out  by  the  feet,  as  is  the 
custom  when  the  wine  is  destined  for  ordinary  use.  While 
the  wine  remains  in  the  casks  it  is  considered  a  mortal 
offence  for  any  one  to  meddle  with  it  before  the  quantity 
necessary  for  altar  uses  has  first  been  set  aside  (Renaudot, 
vol.  i.  pp.  176  and  177).  The  Copts  will  not  say  Mass 
with  wine  which  has  been  purchased  in  a  store,  for  the 
reason  that  it  may  not  be  pure  (ibid.) 


The  wine  and  water  necessary  for  the  Holy  Sacrifice  are 
kept  in  two  glass  vessels  termed  Cruets.  Although  it  is  not 
specially  required  that  they  be  made  of  glass,  still,  for  the 
greater  convenience  of  those  who  have  to  keep  them  clean, 
but  above  all  for  the  advantage  Cruets  of  this  material  have 
over  those  which  are  not  transparent,  it  is  better  that  they 
should  ;  for  accidents  of  a  very  serious  nature  are  liable 
to  happen  unless  it  can  be  seen  at  a  glance  in  which  vessel 
the  wine  is  and  in  which  the  water. 

In  early  times  these  Cruets  were  often  made  of  the  most 
precious  materials.      Gold,  silver,  and  precious  stones  fre- 

Cruets.  167 

4uently  entered  into  their  composition,  and  the  most  elabo- 
rate workmanship  was  displayed  in  making  them.  John  of 
Hothum,  Bishop  of  Ely,1  gave  to  his  church,  as  a  private 
donation,  in  a.d.  1336,  a  set  of  golden  Cruets  studded  with 
rubies  and  pearls  (Church  of  Our  Fathers,  by  Dr.  Rock, 
i.  p.  159,  note).  Beauchamp,  Earl  of  Warwick,  bequeathed 
in  A.D.  1400,  to  his  lord  the  king,  an  image  of  the  Blessed 
Virgin,  with  two  cruets,  silver  and  gilt,  made  in  the  shape 
of  two  angels  (ibid.)  In  those  good  old  days  the  highest 
nobles  of  the  land  strove  with  holy  zeal  to  see  how  much 
each  could  do  towards  beautifying  the  house  of  God  and 
having  the  sacred  vessels  of  the  altar  and  sanctuary  of  the 
most  ornate  kind. 

1  Ely,  an  ancient  city  of  Cambridgeshire,  England,  was  once  a  resort  of  much  not«. 
It  is  about  seventy  miles  from  London.  It  had  a  venerable  Catholic  cathedral  in  1107, 
which  was  517  feet  long,  with  a  tower  270  feet  high. 



During  the  very  early  days  it  was  entirely  at  the  discre- 
tion of  every  priest  whether  he  said  daily  a  plurality  of 
Masses  or  not  (Gavantus,  Thesaur.  Sacr.  Bit.,  p.  19).  It 
was  quite  usual  to  say  two  Masses,  one  of  the  occurring 
feast,  the  other  for  the  benefit  of  the  faithful  departed.  A 
plurality  of  Masses,  however,  was  soon  restricted  to  occasions 
upon  which  a  greater  concourse  of  people  than  ordinary  was 
gathered  by  reason  of  some  solemnity.  Then,  in  order  to 
afford  all  an  opportunity  of  assisting  at  the  Holy  Sacrifice, 
as  many  Masses  as  were  deemed  necessary  could  be  said,  and 
these  even  by  the  same  priest.  Pope  Leo  III.  (ninth  cen- 
tury), we  are  told,  said  as  many  as  nine  Masses  on  a  single 
day  to  meet  an  exigency  of  this  kind  (ibid.  p.  19).  This 
practice,  however,  kept  gradually  falling  into  desuetude 
until  the  time  of  Pope  Alexander  II.  (from  a.d.  1061  to 
1073),  when  that  pontiff  decreed  that  no  priest  should  say 
more  than  one  Mass  on  the  same  day.  The  decree  was  thus 
worded:  "It  is  sufficient  for  a  priest  to  say  one  Mass  the 
same  day,  because  Christ  suffered  once  and  redeemed  the 
whole  world.  The  celebration  of  one  Mass  is  no  small  mat- 
ter, and  very  happy  is  the  man  who  can  celebrate  one  Mass 
worthily"  (ibid.)  This  is  the  present  discipline  of  the 
Church  in  this  matter.  Faculties,  however,  are  granted  to 
priests  in  charge  of  two  churches  to  say  Mass  in  each  church 
on  Sunday,  in  order  to  give  the  people  an  opportunity  of 

Christmas  Day  an  Exception.  169 

complying  with  the  precept  requiring  them  to  assist  on  that 
day  at  the  Holy  Sacrifice.  But  under  no  circumstances  can 
more  than  two  be  said  by  the  same  priest  on  these  occa- 
sions.1 Permission  to  duplicate  may  be  also  had  for  one 
church  where  two  Masses  are  required. 


Christmas  day  is  now  the  only  day  of  the  year  upon  which 
a  plurality  of  Masses  may  be  said.  On  this  great  feast  the 
Church  extends  to  every  priest  the  privilege  of  celebrating 
the  Holy  Sacrifice  three  times  the  same  morning,  without, 
however,  binding  him  to  celebrate  any  more  than  one,  if  he 
does  not  wish  to  do  so.  According  to  Durandus  (Rationale 
Divin.,  p.  419,  No.  17),  this  privilege  was  granted  by  Pope 
Telesphorus,  a.d.  142.  Liturgical  writers  assign  to  these 
three  Masses  the  following  mystic  meaning :  first,  the  eter- 
nal birth  of  the  Son  of  God  in  the  bosom  of  his  Father ; 
secondly,  his  birth  in  time  in  the  womb  of  his  Immaculate 
Mother ;  thirdly,  his  spiritual  birth  in  the  hearts  of  the 
faithful  by  a  worthy  reception  of  his  sacraments,  but,  above 
all,  by  the  reception  of  himself  in  the  adorable  sacrament 
of  the  altar  (Benedict  XIV.,  De  Festis  Do?n.  Nostr.  J. 
Christi,  No.  668;  Bouvry,  Expositio  Bubr.,  i.  437). 

Throughout  the  kingdom  of  Aragon,  in  Spain  (includ- 
ing Aragon,  Valentia,  and  Catalonia),  also  in  the  king- 
dom of  Majorca  (a  dependency  of  Aragon),  it  is  allowed 
each  secular  priest  to  say  two  Masses  on  the  2d  of  Novem- 
ber, the  Commemoration  of  all  the  Faithful  Departed,  and 
each  regular*  priest  three  Masses.  This  privilege  is  also 
enjoyed  by  the  Dominicans  of  the  Monastery  of  St.  James 

1  Father  Vetromile  (Travels  in  Europe  and  the  Holy  Land,  p.  171)  is  our  authority 
for  saying  that  the  priests  attached  to  the  Chapel  of  Calvary  at  Jerusalem  can  say  Mass 
there  at  any  hour  of  the  day,  and  as  often  as  they  please.  t 

*  The  term  regular  is  applied  to  all  priests  who  live  together  in  community.  Those 
who  live  outside  of  community  life  are  termed  seculars. 

170        Number  of  Masses  that  a  Priest  may  say. 

at  Pampeluna  (Benedict  XIV.,  Be  Sacrif.  Miss®,  Romae, 
ex.  Congr.  de  Prop.  Fide,  an.  1859  editio,  p.  139).  This 
grant,  it  is  said,  was  first  made  either  by  Pope  Julius  or 
Pope  Paul  III.,  and,  though  often  asked  for  afterwards  by 
persons  of  note,  was  never  granted  to  any  other  country  or 
to  any  place  in  Spain  except  those  mentioned.  For  want  of 
any  very  recent  information  on  the  subject  I  am  unable  tc 
say  how  far  the  privilege  extends  at  the  present  day.  A 
movement  is  on  foot,  however,  to  petition  the  Holy  Fa- 
ther for  an  extension  of  this  privilege  to  the  universal 
Church,  in  order  that  as  much  aid  as  possible  may  be 
given  to  the  suffering  souls  in  Purgatory. 


The  practice  of  the  Oriental  Church  regarding  the  cele- 
bration of  Mass  is  somewhat  lax;  but  in  so  far  as  relates 
to  the  number  a  single  priest  may  say  the  same  day,  if  we 
except  the  Copts,  that  Church  and  ours  agree.  Daily  Mass 
is  very  rare  in  the  East,  except  among  the  Papal  Catholics 
(as  those  of  our  communion  are  termed),  and  even  in  many 
places  there  is  no  celebration  on  Sunday,  unless  it  be  one  of 
great  note. 

According  to  the  Nestorian  Ritual,  Mass  is  prescribed  for 
every  Sunday  and  Friday  and  every  Church  festival  through- 
out the  year.  It  is  also  prescribed  every  day  of  the  first, 
middle,  and  last  week  of  Lent,  except  Good  Friday  ;  dailj 
also  the  week  following  Easter.  At  present,  however,  Mass 
is  restricted  to  Sundays  and  principal  holydays  ;  and  in  some 
places  whole  weeks  pass  without  a  celebration.  The  Rev. 
Geo.  Percy  Badger,  whom  we  are  quoting,  says  that  on  some 
occasions  it  is  the  practice  for  the  priest  to  read  the  Liturgy, 
omitting  the  prayer  of  consecration  and  other  parts  of  the 
office,  after  the  manner  of  a  Dry  Mass.    This  the  Nesto- 

Practice  of  the  Oriental  Church,  171 

rians  call  by  the  name  of  d'Sh-heeme,  or  Simple  (Nestorians 
and  their  Rituals,  vol.  ii.  p.  243). 

Smith  and  D  wight,  in  their  travels  through  the  East, 
were  informed  by  some  Nestorian  priests  that  a  whole  year 
sometimes  passes  without  there  being  any  more  than  three 
Masses  celebrated  {Researches  in  Armenia,  vol.  ii.  p.  230). 
They  state,  however,  that  the  more  devout  celebrate  very 
regularly,  especially  during  the  season  of  Lent. ' 

According  to  the  discipline  of  the  Armenians,  daily  Mass 
is  enjoined,  and  is  rarely  omitted  where  there  is  a  sufficiency 
of  priests  (ibid,  103).  Neale,  however,  flatly  contradicts 
this  in  his  Holy  Eastern  Church  (vol.  i.  p.  380,  note  a), 
where  he  distinctly  states  that  it  is  a  regulation  of  the  Ar- 
menian Church  that  the  Liturgy  is  not  to  be  celebrated 
excepting  on  Saturday  and  Sunday,  and  when  any  great 
festival  of  our  Lord  or  his  Mother  occurs.  On  ordinary 
days,  instead  of  Mass,  they  recite  Tierce,  Sext,  and  None 
of  the  Divine  Office.  Neale  adds,  however,  that  during 
Lent  celebration  is  more  frequent. 

■  The  season  of  Lent  is  very  strictly  observed  throughout  the  entire  East.  In  fact, 
it  is  not  merely  one  Lent  they  have,  but  several,  and  these  are  kept  with  all  the  ancient 
rigor  even  at  the  present  day.  Besides  fasting  on  every  Wednesday  and  Friday  of  the 
year,  the  Nestorians  fast  also  for  twenty-five  days  previous  to  Christmas  ;  fifteen  days 
before  the  Feast  of  St.  Mary— that  is,  before  the  Assumption  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  ; 
three  days  before  the  Feast  of  the  Holy  Cross  ;  three  before  the  Feast  of  St.  John ; 
fifty  days  before  Easter  ;  and  fifty  before  Pentecost.  The  fast  of  Wednesday  and  Fri- 
day is  so  strict  that  no  meat  is  eaten  from  the  evening  before  until  the  evening  follow- 
ing (Smith  and  Dwight,  Researches  in  Armenia,  ii.  208,  209).  The  total  number  of 
fasting  days  with  the  Armenians  in  one  year  amounts  to  one  hundred  and  fifty-six 
(ibid.  i.  p.  156). 

According  to  Dr.  Neale,  the  fasts  in  the  Greek  Church  amount  to  two  hundred  and 
twenty-six  per  annum.  He  further  states  that  during  the  "  Great  Fast,"  as  Lent  is 
Called,  nothing  can  equal  the  rigor  observed  everywhere  and  by  all.  The  only  relaxa- 
tions given  are  the  allowance  of  more  than  one  meal  on  Saturday  and  Sunday,  and  the 
use  of  fish  on  the  Feast  of  the  Annunciation.  At  all  other  times  meat,  fish,  cheese, 
eggs,  butter,  oil,  and  milk  are  strictly  forbidden.  So  strictly  is  this  "  Great  Fast " 
kept  by  old  and  young  that  poor  men  will  throw  away  their  only  loaf  if  a  drop  of  oil 
or  other  forbidden  substance  should  accidentally  touch  it  (Holy  Eastern  Church, 

11%        Number  of  Masses  that  a  Priest  may  say. 

In  case  of  a  death  occurring  Mass  is  never  omitted. 
The  Armenians  say  one  on  the  day  of  burial  and  one  on 
the  seventh,  fifteenth,  and  fortieth  after  death ;  also  one 
on  the  anniversary  day.  This  holy  practice  of  praying  for 
the  dead  and  saying  Mass  in  their  behalf  is  very  com- 
mon throughout  the  entire  East,  with  schismatics  as  well 
as  Catholics. 

According  to  Pococke,  the  liturgioal  days  of  the  Copts  are 
Sundays  and  holydays,  and  the  Wednesdays  and  Fridays  of 
the  fasting  seasons.  The  same  author  remarks  that,  under 
pretext  of  not  being  able  to  obtain  grapes  from  Cairo  for 
wine  purposes,  their  priests  say  they  cannot  celebrate  Mass 
oftener  than  once  a  month.  These  remarks,  of  course, 
wholly  refer  to  the  schismatic  Copts  and  not  to  the  Catho- 
lic.    The  latter  celebjate  regularly. 



Until  about  the  beginning  of  the  thirteenth  century  the 
custom  of  having  several  priests  unite  in  offering  the  same 
Mass  was  very  prevalent  on  the  more  solemn  festivals  of  the 
year.  The  priests  who  lent  their  aid  on  such  occasions  were 
said  to  conceleirate — that  is,  to  perform  one  joint  action  with 
the  regular  celebrant  of  the  Mass  ;  and  no  matter  how  great 
their  number  was,  no  one  ever  supposed  that  more  than  a 
single  Sacrifice  was  offered  (Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  246). 
Touching  this  peculiar  custom  Pope  Innocent  III.,  in  his 
fourth  book  on  the  Mass,  chap,  xxv.,  writes  as  follows  :  "  The 
cardinal  priests  have  been  accustomed  to  stand  around  the 
Roman  Pontiff  and  celebrate  together  with  him  ;  and  when 
the  Sacrifice  is  ended  they  receive  Communion  at  his  hands, 
signifying  thereby  that  the  Apostles  who  sat  at  table  with 
our  Lord  received  the  Eucharist  from  him  ;  and  in  their 
celebrating  together  it  is  shown  that  the  Apostles  on  that 
occasion  learned  the  rite  by  which  this  Sacrifice  should  be 

This  custom  of  concelebrating  must  have  gone  into 
desuetude  in  the  early  part  of  the  thirteenth  century,  for 
Durandus,  who  flourished  in  a.d.  1260,  speaks  of  it  as  a 
thing  already  passed  away.  The  only  vestige  of  it  that  now 
remains  in  the  Latin  Church  is  to  be  found  in  the  Mass  of 
the  ordination  of  a  priest  and  the  consecration  of  a  bishop. 
In  the  former  case  the  candidate,  or  ordinandus,  as  he  is 
called,  takes  up  the  Mass  with  the  bishop  ordaining  at  the 


174  Concelebration. 

Offertory,  and  goes  on  with  him  to  the  end,  reciting  every, 
thing  aloud,  even  the  form  of  consecration  of  the  Host  and 
Chalice  ;  in  the  latter  case  the  bishop-elect  takes  up  the  Mass 
at  the  very  beginning  with  the  bishop  consecrating,  and  fol- 
lows him  in  everything  to  the  end,  except  that  he  does  not 
turn  with  him  at  any  time  to  the  people  when  saying  "  Pax 
vobis,"  "Dominus  vobiscum,"  or  "Orate  fratres."  At  the 
Communion  he  receives  part  of  the  Host  used  by  the 
consecrating  bishop ;  and  with  him,  also,  part  of  the  Pre- 
cious Blood,  from  the  same  chalice. 

Regarding  this  Mass  of  concelebration  many  curious  ques- 
tions are  asked  ;  but  as  it  would  be  entirely  beyond  our  pur- 
pose to  delay  in  discussing  them,  we  shall  give  only  the 
most  important  to  our  readers.  This  is,  Whether  the  con- 
secration of  the  bread  or  wine  is  to  be  ascribed  to  the  bishop 
ordaining  or  to  the  ordinandus,  in  case  the  latter  should 
have  pronounced  the  entire  form  first  ?  Some  theologians 
formerly  held  that,  in  order  to  avoid  all  scruple  on  this 
head,  the  newly-ordained  priest  ought  to  recite  the  words 
of  consecration  historically  (historico  modo),  and  have  no 
personal  intention  of  effecting  transubstantiation  at  all. 
According  to  others,  it  mattered  nothing  whether  the  ordi- 
nandus pronounced  the  form  before  the  bishop  or  not ;  con- 
secration was  in  every  case  to  be  ascribed  to  the  latter.  The 
third  opinion  is  the  one  accepted  to-day — viz.,  that  al- 
though the  newly-ordained  priest  may  through  haste  have 
pronounced  the  sacred  words  of  institution  before  the  bishop 
ordaining,  still  the  whole  thing  must  be  considered  as  one 
joint  moral  action,  in  virtue  of  which  consecration  is  ef- 
fected only  when  all  parties  have  pronounced  the  entire 
form.  This  is  supported  by  Pope  Innocent  III.  among 
others,  and  by  the  great  doctor,  St.  Thomas  Aquinas  (see 
Pontificale  Romanum,  by  Catalanus,  newly  edited  by  Miihl- 
bauer,  fascic  i.  p.  167). 

Oriental  Usage  in  this  Matter,  175 

All  are  at  one  in  saying  that  the  newly-ordained  priest 
really  offers  a  true  sacrifice  on  this  occasion,  and  that  hence 
he  must  have  the  intention  of  consecrating  the  same  bread 
and  wine  with  the  bishop  (Benedict  XIV.,  sect.  2,  No.  142; 
Bouvry,  ii.  493,  q.  4). 


The  ancient  custom  of  concelebrating  is  yet  in  use  with 
nearly  all  the  Oriental  churches.  Wherever  the  Greek  rite 
prevails  it  is  strictly  observed  ;  and  Badger  tells  us  that  it 
is  common  with  the  Nestorians  (Nestorians  and  their  Ritu- 
als, i.  p.  286).  That  the  custom  is  also  in  vogue  with  the 
Maronites  we  see  from  their  liturgy  and  liturgical  customs. 
G-oar  tells  us  (Euchol.,  p.  299)  that  whenever  the  patriarch 
celebrates  a  Mass  of  this  kind  he  is  attended  by  several 
bishops  and  priests,  who  celebrate  and  communicate  with 
him.  When  the  bishop  is  the  celebrant  all  the  priests  who 
are  present  assist  him,  and  the  same  is  done  when  the  cele- 
brant is  a  protopope.1  All  this,  however,  applies  only  to 
the  greater  festivals  of  the  year ;  on  ordinary  occasions  this 
display  is  dispensed  with. 

1  A  protopope  in  the  Eastern  Church  is  nearly  the  same  as  our  archdeacon, 
precise  jurisdiction  is  the  same  as  that  of  the  ancient  chorepiscopus,  or  rural  bishop 




Whether  in  imitation  of  the  high-priest  of  the  old  law, 
who  always  celebrated  barefooted,  or  through  profound  re- 
spect for  the  Holy  Eucharist,  there  were  some  in  times  past 
who  used  to  say  Mass  in  their  naked  feet.  This  was  the 
practice  of  certain  monks  of  Egypt  until  forbidden  by  the 
Holy  See  (Cassianus,  Institute  lib.  i.  cap.  vi.)  It  is  never 
allowed  by  the  existing  order  of  things  to  celebrate  bare- 
footed ;  the  rubric  distinctly  says  that  the  priest  must  have 
shoes  on  (pedibus  calceatus). 

With  the  Nestorians,  however,  the  case  is  very  different ; 
for,  according  to  them,  it  is  considered  a  great  offence  to  say 
Mass  with  the  feet  covered.  They  require  them  to  be  en- 
tirely bare  from  beginning  to  end,  as  an  evidence  of  deep 
respect  towards  the  Blessed  Sacrament  (see,  among  others, 
Smith  and  Dwight,  ii.  229).  According  to  Burder  (Reli- 
gious Ceremonies  and  Customs,  p.  180),  the  Armenian  clergy, 
when  assisting  in  choir,  never  wear  anything  on  the  feet, 
but  the  celebrant  of  the  Mass  always  wears  a  light  black 

Ancient  Rules  regarding  the  Color  of  the  Shoes  worn  at 
Mass. — Although  bishops  in  the  early  days  could  wear  any 
color  they  pleased  in  what  was  termed  their  sandals,  yet 
for  priests  and  those  of  the  lower  order  of  clergy  black  was 
always  prescribed.     The  Council  of  Exeter,  held  in  a.d. 


Mass  must  be  Celebrated  Fasting.  17? 

1287,  ordained  that  the  clergy  should  wear  no  other  than 
black  boots ;  and  in  a  council  held  in  London  in  1342  it 
was  enacted  that  they  should  not  wear  green  or  scarlet  leg- 
gings. Bishop  Waneflete,  in  the  statutes  he  drew  up  for  his 
college  at  Oxford,  strictly  forbade  the  use  of  a  low  kind  of 
shoe  called  high-lows ;  also  red  peaked  boots,  and  every- 
thing of  that  kind  which  was  not  suitable  to  the  priestly 
state  and  the  holy  canons  (Dr.  Eock,  Church  of  Our  Fathers, 
ii.  244). 

At  the  adoration  of  the  cross  on  Good  Friday  the  sacred 
ministers  doff  their  shoes  out  of  respect.  The  Komans,  we 
are  told,  walked  barefooted  at  the  funeral  of  Augustus,  in 
testimony  of  the  great  respect  that  should  be  paid  such  a 


According  to  Cardinal  Bona  (Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  255),  the 
practice  of  celebrating  fasting  is  of  apostolic  origin,  and  was 
always  strictly  observed  in  the  early  Church.  St.  Augus- 
tine says  that,  out  of  respect  for  the  Holy  Eucharist,  we 
should  partake  of  no  food  whatever  before  communicating. 
To  this  rule  there  was,  however,  one  signal  and  special 
exception  in  ancient  times — viz.,  in  case  of  the  Mass  cele- 
brated on  Holy  Thursday.  On  this  day,  in  memory  of  the 
Last  Supper,  it  was  customary  for  some  years,  at  least  in 
Africa,  to  celebrate  after  having  taken  food.  The  decree 
regulating  this  discipline,  and  issued  by  the  Council  of 
Carthage  in  A. p.  397,  was  thus  worded  :  "The  sacrament 
of  the  altar  must  not  be  celebrated  unless  by  those  who  are 
fasting ;  an  exception,  however,  is  made  on  the  anniver- 
sary upon  which  the  Lord's  Supper  was  instituted  "  (ibid, ) 
Some  claimed  an  exception,  also,  in  case  of  Masses  for  the 
dead,  but  the  practice  gained  but  little  favor.  To-day  the 
rule  enjoining  fast  is  of  universal  obligation,  and  admits 

178        Customs  relating  to  the  Celebration  of  Mass. 

of  no  relaxation,  except  in  one  or  two  special  cases — viz., 
where  an  accident  should  befall  a  priest  after  consecration, 
rendering  him  unable  to  go  on  any  further,  and  there  is 
no  other  priest  at  hand  to  complete  the  Sacrifice  but  one 
who  has  already  broken  his  fast.  Some  theologians  make 
another  exception  in  the  case  where  people  had  been  de- 
prived of  Mass  for  a  long  time,  and  could  not,  on  account 
of  their  great  distance  from  church,  be  early  enough  for  the 
regular  Mass.  But  as  such  things  rarely  happen,  they  are 
hardly  exceptions  to  the  universal  rule. 

Practice  of  the  Eastern  Church  in  this  respect. — We  have 
said  in  another  place  that  the  Copts  will  say  Mass  any  time 
of  the  day  or  night,  whether  fasting  or  not,  in  order  to  give 
Holy  Viaticum  to  the  dying,  as  they  do  not  reserve  the 
Blessed  Sacrament.  This,  however,  must  be  considered  a 
solitary  case,  for  the  discipline  of  all  the  Oriental  churches 
in  this  matter  is  precisely  the  same  as  our  own. 

According  to  many  of  the  Coptic  and  Ethiopic  discipli- 
nary canons,  the  priest  who  is  to  say  Mass  must  be  fasting 
from  the  previous  evening,  and  must  not  even  take  a  glass 
of  wine  before  he  has  celebrated  (Denzinger,  Ritus  Orien- 
talium,  p.  66 ;  Renaudot,  Liturg.  Oriental.,  i.  268).  So 
fearful  are  they  of  violating  this  sacred  law  that  it  is  quite 
common  to  find  a  priest  taking  up  quarters  in  the  sacristy 
ihe  previous  day,  and  remaining  there,  secluded  from  all 
danger  of  breaking  the  fast,  until  Mass  has  been  celebrated. 


On  account  of  the  profound  respect  that  is  due  to  our 
Lord  in  the  Holy  Sacrament  of  the  altar,  as  well  as  to 
signify  that  interior  purity  of  heart  which  we  should  always 
possess  when  celebrating  the  tremendous  Sacrifice  of  the 
new  law,  it  is  of  strict  obligation  that  the  priest  should 

Washing  of  the  Hands.  179 

wash  his  hands  immediately  before  donning  the  sacred 
vestments.  All  are  unanimous  in  saying  that  this  practice 
is  as  old  as  the  Christian  Church  itself.  While  perform- 
ing this  ablution  the  priest  recites  the  following  prayer : 
"  Grant,  0  Lord  !  such  virtue  to  my  hands  that  they  may  be 
cleansed  from  every  stain,  to  the  end  that  I  may  serve  thee 
without  defilement  of  mind  or  body." 

In  early  times  not  only  was  the  priest  who  was  to  say 
Mass  required  to  wash  his  hands,  but  also  every  mem- 
ber of  the  congregation  as  he  entered  the  sacred  edifice. 
For  which  reason  there  used  to  be  placed  at  the  entrance 
of  all  the  ancient  churches  fonts  filled  with  water  (Riddle, 
Christian  Antiquities,  p.  739).  These  fonts  were  some- 
times elaborately  finished,  and  inscriptions  of  a  pious  nature 
were  engraved  upon  them.  The  celebrated  Church  of  Holy 
Wisdom  (Sancta  Sophia)  at  Constantinople  had  an  inscrip- 
tion on  its  font  which  read  the  same  way  backwards  and 
forwards.  It  was  printed  in  Greek  characters,  thus : 
is,  "  Wash  away  your  sins,  and  not  your  countenance  only" 
(Neale,  i.  215).  In  the  Oriental  Church  the  ablution  of 
the  hands  is  performed  after  haA7ing  vested,  and  not  before 
as  with  us.  On  such  occasions  the  Oriental  priests  recite 
the  psalm  "  Lavabo  inter  innocentes." 

Whenever  a  bishop  celebrates  he  washes,  according  to  our 
rite,  four  different  times  :  the  first  before  vesting ;  the 
second,  after  he  has  read  the  Offertorium  ;  the  third,  after 
the  Offertory ;  and  the  fourth  time,  after  Communion. 

After  the  priest  has  washed  his  hands  he  goes  to  prepare 
the  chalice  by  first  placing  upon  it  a  clean  purificator,  over 
which  he  also  places  the  paten  with  a  large  Host  resting 
upon  it,  and  over  this  the  pall.  He  then  covers  all  with 
the  chalice  veil,  and  rests  the  burse  with  the  corporal  in 
it  on  the  top.     The  chalice  is  then  said  to  be  dressed. 

180       Customs  relating  to  the  Celebration  of  Mass* 

The  priest  proceeds  now  to  vest  himself,  putting  on  each 
article  in  the  order  which  we  have  described  already,  and 
with  the  same  ceremonies.  This  is  done  in  the  sacristy ; 
but  should  the  celebrant  be  a  bishop,  he  always  vests  at 
the  altar.1 

Having  put  on  all  the  sacred  vestments,  he  takes  the 
chalice  in  his  hands  and  proceeds  to  the  altar  with  a  solemn, 
dignified  gait ;  and,  to  show  the  great  importance  of  the  work 
he  is  about  to  engage  in,  he  must  salute  no  one  as  he  passes 
along,  unless  the  person  be  some  great  dignitary,  and  then 
only  by  a  moderate  bow  of  the  head.  We  have  a  remarkable 
precedent  for  this  in  the  solemn  discourse  made  by  our  Lord 
to  his  disciples  when  sending  them  to  preach  the  Gospel ;  he 
commanded  them  to  "salute  no  man  by  the  way"  (Luke 
x.  4). 

When  the  priest  has  arrived  in  front  of  the  altar  he  takes 
off  his  cap,  or  berretta,  and  having  made  a  low  bow  to  the 
crucifix,  or  a  genuflection  if  the  Blessed  Sacrament  be  in  the 
tabernacle,  he  ascends  the  steps,  and,  having  spread  out  the 
corporal  in  the  middle  of  the  altar,  places  the  chalice  with  its 
appurtenances  on  it.  (At  Solemn  High  Mass  the  chalice  is 
not  brought  to  the  altar  until  the  Offertory.)  After  this 
he  proceeds  to  the  Epistle  side,  and,  having  opened  the  mis- 
sal at  the  Mass  of  the  day,  returns  to  the  front  of  the  altar, 
at  the  lowest  step,  and  there  begins  the  service.  (A  server, 
or  altar- boy,  kneeling  at  his  left,  answers  the  responses  in 

1  The  reason  of  this  distinction  is  founded  on  the  fact  that  in  all  the  ancient 
Churches  there  used  to  he  built,  generally  in  the  nave,  a  small  altar,  at  which  the  bishop 
would  seat  himself  before  Mass  to  receive  the  obeisance  of  the  people  as  they  passed  in, 
and  impart  them  his  blessing  ;  for  which  reason  this  altar  used  to  be  generally  known 
as  the  SalxtatoH'tm.  When  the  entire  congregation  had  gathered,  his  lordship  would 
rest  at  this  small  altar,  and  then  proceed  in  solemn  procession  to  the  sanctuary,  where 
he  would  begin  Mass.  When  the  practice  of  building  these  appurtenances  ceased,  the 
main  altar  of  the  church  served  in  their  stead  ;  and  hence  the  origin  of  the  present  prac- 
tice. This  may  be  gleaned  from  the  Cwenwriiale  Episcopontm  and  the  other  workf 
that  meation  the  Secretarium,  as  the  Salutatorhun  was  sometimes  called. 

reekBishop  in  (?hasuble. 



The  Sign  of  the  Cross.  183 

the  name  of  the  people.)  He  first  makes  a  low  bow,  or  a 
genuflection  if  the  Blessed  Sacrament  be  present,  and  then 


by  touching  his  forehead,  breast,  left  and  right  shoulder, 
as  he  says,  "  In  nomine  Patris,  et  Filii,  et  Spiritus  Sancti, 
amen  " — that  is,  "  In  the  name  of  the  Father,  and  of  the 
Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  amen."  When  he  touches 
his  forehead  he  says,  "  In  the  name  of  the  Father"; 
when  he  touches  his  breast,  "  and  of  the  Son";  and  as  he 
passes  his  hand  from  the  left  to  the  right  shoulder  he  con- 
cludes by  saying,  "and  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  amen."  We 
call  the  reader's  special  attention  to  this  distribution  of  the 
words,  for  they  are  very  frequently  misplaced,  it  being  quite 
common  to  hear  nothing  but  "  Amen  "  said  as  the  right 
shoulder  is  touched.  This  is  wholly  incorrect,  as  may  be 
seen  at  once  from  the  rubrics  describing  the  manner  of 
making  the  sign  of  the  cross.  It  is  hardly  necessary  to 
add  that  it  is  always  the  right  hand  which  is  used  in 
going  through  this  ceremony. 

Ancient  Customs  regarding  the  Manner  of  Making  the 
Sign  of  the  Cross. — In  the  Christian  Church  in  early  times 
the  custom  of  making  the  sign  of  the  cross  on  the  forehead 
only  was  very  common.  Tertullian  (a.d.  200)  alludes  to 
it  in  his  De  Corona  Militis,  cap.  iii.,  as  does  also  the  Ro- 
man Ordo  in  its  directions  for  saying  Mass.  Sometimes, 
too,  only  the  mouth  was  signed,  and  sometimes  nothing 
but  the  breast.  Customs  varied  in  different  places. 
Anxious,  however,  to  retain  vestiges  of  all  these  ancient 
and  pious  practices,  the  Church  still  preserves  them  in 
some  part  of  her  sacred  offices.  The  three  may  be  seen 
united  in  one  ceremony  at  the  reading  of  the  Gospel,  where 
the  priest  signs  himself  on  the  forehead,  mouth,  and 
breast  as   he   pronounces    the  initial  words.     The  signing 

182        Customs  relating  to  the  Celebration  of  Mass, 

of  the  mouth  only  is  seen  in  the  Divine  Office  of  the 
Breviary  at  the  words  "Domine,  abia  mea  aperies" — 
"Lord,  thou  wilt  open  my  lips." 

When  all  the  ancient  practices  died  away,  and  the  present 
discipline  was  introduced,  for  quite  a  long  time  it  was  the 
rule  to  trace  the  right  hand  from  the  right  to  the  left 
shoulder  after  having  touched  the  breast,  instead  of,  as  now, 
from  the  left  to  the  right.  The  latter  came  into  general 
use  in  the  time  of  Pope  Pius  V.  (sixteenth  century). 

The  Spanish  peasantry,  in  making  the  sign  of  the  cross, 
use  the  formula,  "  By  the  sign  of  the  Holy  Cross  deliver 
us  from  our  enemies,  0  God  our  Lord  !  In  the  name  of 
the  Father,  and  of  the  Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  Amen, 

Eegarding  the  disposition  of  the  fingers  in  making  this 
sacred  sign,  different  practices  existed,  too,  at  one  time. 
The  most  general  way,  however,  in  the  Latin  Church  was 
to  close  the  small  and  annular  fingers  of  the  right  hand  and 
extend  the  other  three  ;  then  to  make  with  the  hand  thus 
disposed  the  required  sign.  Bishops  and  the  members  of 
the  Carthusian  and  Dominican  orders  have  retained  this 
custom.  The  two  fingers  united  in  this  way  symbolize  the 
duality  of  natures  in  our  Divine  Lord,  against  the  Eutych- 
ians,  who  maintained  that  there  was  but  one  ;  and  the 
three  other  fingers  typify  the  Blessed  Trinity  (Romsee, 
iv.  56  ;  Bona,  De  Divina  Psalmodia,  p.  507).  It  will  interest 
the  reader  to  know  that  our  Holy  Father  the  Pope  always 
observes  this  ancient  disposition  of  the  fingers  whenever  he 
imparts  his  blessing,  as  may  be  seen  from  any  correct  pic- 
ture representing  him  in  this  attitude. 

Customs  of  the  Oriental  Church. — The  ancient  practice  of 
touching  the  right  shoulder  before  the  left  is  yet  in  Vogue 
with  all  who  follow  the  Greek  Rite,  but  the  disposition  of 
the  fingers  is  entirely  different.     In  making  the  sign  of  the 

The  Sign  of  the  Cross.  183 

cross  the  Greek  priest  first  crosses  his  thumb  on  the  annu- 
lar or  fourth  finger  of  the  right  hand,  and  bends  his  little 
finger  so  as  to  have  it  resemble  the  curve  of  a  crescent ;  he 
allows  the  index  finger  to  stand  perfectly  erect,  and,  having 
bent  the  middle  one  so  as  to  form  the  same  figure  as  that 
formed  by  the  little  finger,  raises  his  hand  aloft,  and  then 
traces  the  sign.  The  interpretation  of  all  this  is  very  inter- 
esting. The  outstretched  finger  stands  for  the  Greek  letter 
7";  the  bending  of  the  middle  finger  represents  the  letter  C, 
one  of  the  ancient  ways  of  writing  Sigma,  or  the  English  S; 
the  letter  2,  and  this  C  or  S,  form  the  well-known  con- 
traction for  "  Jesus,"  being  its  first  and  last  letters.  The 
thumb,  crossed  upon  the  fourth  finger,  is  the  Greek  letter 
X,  equivalent  to  our  ch ;  and  this,  with  the  small  finger 
shaped  as  the  middle  finger,  and  representing  C  or  S,  forms 
the  contraction  for  "  Christus,"  or  Christ.  Hence,  "Jesus 
Christ"  is  the  interpretation  of  the  whole  action.  The 
Greeks  are  so  careful  to  keep  the  fingers  thus  adjusted  when 
making  the  sign  of  the  cross  that  we  find  them  so  disposed 
when  blessing  the  people  with  the  Dikerion  and  Trikerion* 
(see  figure). 

In  the  great  church  of  Holy  Wisdom  at  Constantinople, 
of  which  we  have  said  so  much  already,  there  was  a  very 
celebrated  painting  of  our  Lord  in  the  inner  porch  over  the 
central  door,  with  St.  John  the  Baptist  on  one  side  and  the 
Blessed  Virgin  on  the  other,  in  the  act  of  blessing  the  Em- 
peror Justinian,  who  lay  prostrate  before  him.  The  man- 
ner in  which  our  Lord's  fingers  are  adjusted  in  this  painting 
is  in  accordance  with  the  practice  we  have  just  described. 
Although  the  great  temple  itself  is  no  longer  a  house  of 
Christian  worship,   it  being  converted  into  a  Mahometan 

*  The  Dikerion  is  a  sort  of  candlestick  with  two  lights,  signifying  the  duality  of  na- 
,  tures  in  our  Lord  ;  and  the  Trikerion,  with  its  three  lights,  symbolizes  the  ever  Blessed 
rrinity.    With  these  the  Greek  bishop  blesses  the  people  before  Mass. 

184        Customs  relating  to  the  Celebration  of  Mass. 

jami,'  traces  of  the  ancient  painting  may  yet  be  seen  there, 
though  in  a  very  dingy  condition. 

The  Maronites,4  in  making  the  sign  of  the  cross,  use  the 
formula,  "  In  the  name  of  the  Father,  and  of  the  Son,  and 
of  the  Holy  Ghost,  one  True  God  "  {Syriac  Maronite  Bre- 
viary, Ferial  Office). 

The  Monophysites,6  in  order  to  give  as  much  promi- 
nence as  possible  to  their  heresy  of  holding  that  there  was 
but  one  nature  in  our  Lord,  make  the  sign  with  one  finger 
only.  The  orthodox  of  the  East,  as  a  set-off  against  this, 
make  it  with  two  (Smith  and  D wight,  Researches  in  Ar- 
menia, i.  159,  note;  Bona,  De  Divina  Psalmodia,  pp.  507, 
508).  According  to  the  first-mentioned  authority,  the  Ar- 
menians make  the  sign  of  the  cross  exactly  as  we  do. 

We  will  now  return  to  where  we  left  off.  Having  made 
the  sign  of  the  cross  upon  his  person,  the  priest,  alternately 
with  the  server,  recites  the  "  Judica  me,  Deus,"  or  Forty- 
second  Psalm.  The  peculiar  adaptation  of  this  Psalm  for 
this  part  of  the  Mass  is  very  happy  when  we  consider  that, 
according  to  the  most  general  acceptation,  it  was  originally 
written  by  King  David  when  exiled  from  his  house  and 
home  by  the  treachery  of  his  son  Absalom  and  his  kinsman 
Saul.  The  only  consolation  that  was  left  him  in  his  misery 
was  the  hope  he  fondly  cherished  of  returning  again  to  the 

8  The  jami  is  to  a  Mahometan  what  a  cathedral  is  to  a  Christian.  Ordinary 
churches  the  Mahometans  call  mosques;  the  greater  ones,  or  those  in  which  the  office 
of  Friday  (the  Turkish  Sunday)  is  performed,  are  called  jamies.  The  service  peculiar 
to  them  is  denominated  Jumanamazi. 

*  We  have  said  in  another  place  that  the  name  Maronite  comes  from  Maro,  a  hot/ 
recluse  of  Mt.  Lehanon.  We  deem  it  well  to  mention  here  that  the  Maronites  them' 
selves  derive  it  from  Moran,  our  Lord,  and  say  that  this  hetter  applies  to  them  than 
any  other  name,  inasmuch  as  they  never  lost  the  faith  which  they  received  from  our 
Saviour  (Bona,  Divina  Psalmodia,  p.  567). 

6  All  through  Africa  the  followers  of  the  heretic  Eutyches  are  called  Monophysites— 
i.e.,  believers  in  one  nature  ;  hut  in  the  East  they  are  universally  styled  Jacobites,  from 
James  Bardai,  one  of  their  leaders. 

u  Judica  me,  Deus."  185 

tabernacle  where,  better  than  anywhere  else,  he  could  pour 
out  his  soul  to  God  in  humble  prayer. 

Before  the  time  of  Pope  Pius  V.  the  recital  of  this  Psalm 
was  entirely  at  the  option  of  the  priest,  somewhat  in  the 
game  way  as  the  "  Benedicite  "  after  Mass  is  at  present ;  but 
in  the  new  edition  of  the  missal,  published  by  order  of  the 
Council  of  Trent  and  supervised  by  the  pontiff  named,  its 
recital  was  made  a  red  letter,  and  since  that  time  it  has  be- 
come obligatory.  Those  who  were  allowed  to  retain  their 
ancient  rites  by  the  above-mentioned  pontiff,  such  as  the 
Carthusians,  Carmelites,  Dominicans,  Ambrosians,  etc.,  do 
not  recite  it  now,  at  least  not  before  the  altar  as  we  do.  The 
Carmelites  say  it  on  the  way  out  as  they  are  going  to  cele- 
brate, and  that  in  an  undertone  of  voice,  without  the  anti- 
phon  "  Introibo."  Inasmuch  as  it  is  more  or  less  a  psalm  of 
jubilation,  it  is  omitted  in  Masses  for  the  dead  and  in  those 
of  Passion-time.  Such  expressions  as  "  Why  art  thou  sad,  0 
my  soul  ?"  and  "  Why  dost  thou  disquiet  me  ?"  are  but  ill- 
suited  to  Masses  which  are  said  on  mournful  occasions. 
According  to  Pouget,  another  reason  may  be  given  for  its 
omission  in  these  cases — viz.,  that  a  vestige  of  the  ancient 
custom  of  not  reciting  it  at  all  may  be  preserved  (Komsee, 
iv.  60). 

The  Psalm  is  concluded  with  the  minor  doxology,  e '  Glory 
be  to  the  Father,  and  to  the  Son,  and  to  the  Holy  Ghost. 
As  it  was  in  the  beginning,  is  now,  and  ever  shall  be,  world 
without  end.     Amen. " 

Regarding  the  antiquity  of  the  "  Gloria  Patri,"  there 
seems  to  be  unanimous  consent  that,  with  the  exception  of  a 
few  words,  it  originated  with  the  Apostles  themselves,  who 
in  conferring  Holy  Baptism  had  frequent  occasion  to  pro- 
nounce the  greater  part  of  it  at  least  in  the  sacred  formula 
(Kozma,  164).  Up  to  the  Council  of  Nicaea,  a.d.  325,  its 
form  was  this :  "  Glory  be  to  the  Father,  and  to  the  Son, 

180        Customs  relating  to  the  Celebration  of  Mass. 

and  to  the  Holy  Ghost,  world  without  end.  Amen."  The 
part,  "as  it  was  in  the  beginning,  is  now,  and  ever  shall  be," 
was  added  by  the  fathers  of  that  council  against  the  heretic 
Arms,  who  denied  that  our  Lord  was  coequal  in  eternity 
and  in  glory  with  God  the  Father  (Selvaggio,  1.  ii.  p.  i.  c. 
10).  According  to  Durandus  (Rationale  Divin.,  p.  330), 
Pope  Damasus  (366-384),  at  the  suggestion  of  St.  Jerome, 
ordered  the  "  Gloria "  to  be  said  after  every  psalm.  The 
Greeks  say  it  only  after  the  last,  and  then  not  precisely  ar 
we  do,  but  as  follows  :  "  Glory  be  to  the  Father,  and  to  tho 
Son,  and  to  the  Holy  Ghost,  now  and  ever,  and  to  all  ages." 
They,  in  common  with  ourselves,  call  it  the  minor  doxology, 
in  contradistinction  to  the  "  Gloria  in  excelsis,"  which  is  de- 
nominated the  major,  or  greater.  It  is  never  said  in  the 
Masses  or  offices  of  the  dead,  on  account  of  their  lugubrious 
nature.  With  the  Nestorians  it  is  recited  thus  :  "  Glory  be 
to  thee,  0  God  the  Father  !  Glory  be  to  thee,  0  God  the  Son  ! 
Glory  be  to  thee,  0  thou  all-sanctifying  Spirit.  Amen" 
(Burder,  ii.  236). 


Following  closely  upon  the  "Gloria  Patri"  is  the  Con- 
fiteor,  or  Confession,  which  the  priest  recites  bowed  down  in 
profound  humility.  It  is  worded  as  follows  :  "  I  confess  to 
Almighty  God,  to  blessed  Mary  ever  Virgin,  to  blessed  Michael 
the  Archangel,  to  blessed  John  the  Baptist,  to  the  holy  Apos- 
tles Peter  and  Paul,  and  to  all  the  Saints,  and  to  you,  brethren, 
that  I  have  sinned  exceedingly  in  thought,  word,  and  deed, 
through  my  fault,  through  my  fault,  through  my  most  griev- 
ous fault.  Therefore  I  beseech  the  blessed  Mary  ever  Virgin, 
the  blessed  Michael  the  Archangel,  the  blessed  John  the  Bap- 
tist, the  holy  Apostles  Peter  and  Paul,  and  all  the  Saints, 
and  you,  brethren,  to  pray  to  the  Lord  our  God  for  me." 

Although  the  form  of  confession  precisely  as  it  now  standi 

Confiteor.  187 

is  not  of  very  high  antiquity,  yet  all  are  agreed  that  its  main 
structure  is  of  apostolic  origin.  It  must  not,  however,  be 
supposed  that  ever  since  the  days  of  the  Apostles  it  has 
formed  part  of  the  Mass ;  the  best  authorities  say  that  it 
was  not  introduced  into  it  until  about  the  eighth  century 
(Romsee,  iv.  69).  Cardinal  Bona  conjectures  that  some 
form  of  confession  must  have  been  in  use  all  the  time,  but 
what  it  was  and  where  it  came  in  he  ventures  not  to 
say  (Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  310).  According  to  Merati  (Thesaur. 
Sacr.  Rit.,  p.  158),  the  Confession  was  reduced  to  its  present 
form  of  wording,  out  of  the  many  then  in  use,  by  the  third 
Council  of  Ravenna,  held  in  the  year  1314,  and  all  the  others 
were  suppressed. 

Of  the  many  that  formerly  appeared  and  were  used  in  the 
Mass  we  select  the  following  from  the  celebrated  Missal  of 
Sarum,8  as  being  the  shortest :  "  I  confess  to  God,  to  blessed 
Mary,  to  all  the  Saints,  and  to  you,  that  I  have  sinned 
grievously  in  thought  and  in  deed,  through  my  fault.  I  be- 
/eech  blessed  Mary,  all  the  Saints,  and  you  to  pray  for  me." 

"With  the  Dominicans  the  form  of  confession  is  as  follows  : 
u  I  confess  to  Almighty  God,  to  blessed  Mary  ever  Virgin, 
io  our  blessed  father  Dominic,  and  to  all  the  Saints,  that  1 
have  sinned  exceedingly  in  thought,  in  speech,  in  work,  and 
in  omission,  through  my  fault.     I  beseech  the  blessed  Mary 

•  Sarum  was  an  ancient  borough  in  Wiltshire,  England,  a  little  north  of  Salisbury. 
It  was  rendered  famous  and  of  venerable  reminiscence  from  the  great  St.  Osmund, 
who  was  bishop  of  the  place  in  1078,  and  who,  after  much  labor  and  careful  study,  in- 
Itituted  the  so-called  Sarum  Rite,  or  "  Use  of  Sarum,"  so  well  known  throughout  the 
land  for  the  magnificence  of  its  ceremonies.  This  rite  prevailed  throughout  Great 
Britain  generally  until  the  reign  of  Queen  Mary,  in  1560,  when,  through  the  mediation 
of  Cardinal  Pole,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  the  regular  Roman  Rite  was  introduced  in 
Its  stead.  (For  a  full  account  see  Butler's  Lives  of  the  Saints,  under  the  history  of  St. 
Osmund,  December  4,  and  Dr.  Rock's  Church  of  Our  Fathers,  vol  iii.  part  ii )  The 
Sarum  Rite  never  obtained  at  either  Lincoln,  Hereford,  or  York  ;  but  it  did  at  the 
famous  cathedrals  of  Peterborough,  Ely,  and  Durham.  In  a  great  many  of  its  cere- 
monies it  resembled  the  Carthusian  and  Dominican  rites,  as  will  be  Been  further  on  in 
(he  present  work. 

188        Customs  relating  to  the  Celebration  of  Mass. 

ever  Virgin,  and  our  blessed  father  Dominic,  and  all  the 
Saints  to  pray  for  me."  As  the  priest  says,  "Through  my 
fault,  through  my  fault,  through  my  most  grievous  fault," 
he  strikes  his  breast  three  separate  times  in  token  of  the  sor- 
row that  he  feels  for  having  offended  God  in  the  manner 
specified.  This  is  a  very  ancient  practice,  for  we  find  it  done 
by  the  poor  publican  when  he  entered  the  Temple  to  pray, 
and  by  the  people  who  witnessed  our  Lord's  crucifixion  on 
Calvary ;  for,  as  the  Holy  Scripture  says,  "  They  returned 
striking  their  breasts  "  {Luke  xxiii.  48).  The  custom,  too, 
was  very  prevalent  in  the  early  Church.  "  We  enter  the 
temple,"  says  St.  Gregory  Nazianzen,  "  in  sackcloth  and 
ashes,  and  day  and  night  between  the  steps  and  the  altar  we 
strike  our  breasts  "  (Bona,  p.  311).  According  to  Duran- 
dus  {Rationale,  p.  163),  striking  the  breast  three  times  at 
the  Confiteor  is  intended  to  remind  us  of  the  three  essen- 
tial parts  of  the  Sacrament  of  Penance — viz.,  contrition, 
confession,  and  satisfaction. 

Confession  in  the  Old  Law. — That  confession  also  preceded 
the  offering  of  sacrifice  according  to  the  Aaronic  ritual  the 
Rabbi  Moses  Maimonides  and  other  Jewish  doctors  assure 
us  (Bona,  p.  309).  The  manner  in  which  this  confession 
was  to  be  made  was  fully  explained  in  the  Mislma,  and  the 
Cabala1  unravelled  its  spiritual  signification.     The  form  of 

7  The  Cabala— called  by  the  Jews  the  "  Soul  of  the  Soul  of  the  Law,"  in  contradis- 
tinction to  the  Mishna,  which  they  called  simply  the  "  Soul  of  the  Law  "—compre- 
hended all  the  decisions  of  the  rabbins  on  civil  and  religious  points.  Strictly  speaking, 
it  was  the  unwritten  word  handed  down  from  sire  to  son  in  sacred  tradition,  and  con- 
taining all  that  was  necessary  to  know  in  order  to  understand  the  law  and  the  prophets. 
According  to  the  Jewish  doctors,  it  was  first  delivered  to  Moses  by  Almighty  God  him- 
self on  Sinai,  but  was  never  committed  to  writing.  It  was  intended  to  explain  all  the 
difficult  passages  of  the  law  and  to  give  their  mystical  interpretation.  Those  versed 
in  this  species  of  exegesis  are  called  Cabalists.  Their  principal  commentaries  are  con- 
tained in  the  book  named  Zohar,  said  to  have  been  written  by  Rabbi  Ben  Jochai,  who 
died  about  the  year  a.d.  120.  Others  ascribe  to  it  a  later  date  (see  The  Reasons  of  the 
Law  of  Moses,  from  the  More  Nevochim  of  Maimonides,  done  into  English  by  Jarne* 
Townley,  D.D.,  London,  1827  ;  and  Bannister'*  Temples  of  the  Hebrews,  p.  359). 

Confiteor.  189 

its  wording  was  as  follows  :  "  Truly,  0  Lord!  I  have  sinned; 
I  have  acted  iniquitously ;  I  have  prevaricated  before  thee, 
and  am  ashamed  of  my  deeds ;  nor  shall  I  ever  return  to 
them  more."  This  the  Jews  called  "  Viddin  Haddenarin" 
(Merati,  Thesaur.  Sac.  ML,  p.  158). 

Without  the  express  permission  of  the  Holy  See  nothing 
can  be  added  to  the  Confiteor.  The  privilege  of  adding  the 
names  of  their  founders  to  it  is  enjoyed  by  several  religious 
orders,  such  as  the  Benedictines,  Carmelites,  Dominicans, 
Franciscans,  and  Augustinians. 

Confession  in  the  Oriental  Church. — All  the  Eastern 
churches,  as  we  see  from  their  liturgies,  observe  the  practice 
of  making  some  sort  of  confession  before  the  beginning  of 
Mass.  Save  that  of  the  Armenians  alone,  the  form  in  no 
case  agrees,  as  far  as  words  are  concerned,  with  ours,  but  the 
sentiments  are  the  same.  The  confession  used  by  the  Maron- 
ites  is  as  follows  :  "I  ask  thee,  0  God  !  to  make  me  worthy 
of  approaching  thy  pure  altar  without  spot  or  blemish  ;  for 
I  thy  servant  am  a  sinner,  and  have  committed  sins  and 
done  foolish  things  in  thy  sight.  Nor  am  I  worthy  to  ap- 
proach thy  pure  altar  nor  thy  holy  sacraments,  but  I  ask 
thee,  0  pious,  0  merciful,  0  lover  of  men,  to  look  upon  me 
with  thine  eyes  of  mercy."  After  the  Confiteor,  which  the 
server  also  recites,  the  priest  says  :  "  May  Almighty  God  be 
merciful  unto  you,  forgive  you  your  sins,  and  bring  you  to 
life  everlasting!"  The  server  having  answered  "Amen," 
the  priest  subjoins,  "May  the  Almighty  and  merciful  God 
grant  us  pardon,  absolution,  and  remission  of  our  sins,"  to 
which  "  Amen  "  is  also  responded.  In  beginning  the  last 
prayer,  or  "  Indulgentiam,"  the  priest  makes  the  sign  of 
the  cross  upon  his  person  to  show  that  it  is  only  through 
Him  who  died  upon  the  cross  for  love  of  man  that  he  ex- 
pects indulgence  and  pardon.  He  then  recites  a  few  verses 
taken  from  Holy  Scripture,  principally  from  the  Psalms, 

190        Customs  Relating  to  the  Celebration  of  Mass, 

and  ascends  the  altar-steps  repeating  that  beautiful  pray< 
er,  "  Take  away  from  us,  we  beseech  thee,  0  Lord ! 
our  iniquities,  that  we  may  be  worthy  to  enter  with 
pure  minds  the  Holy  of  Holies,  through  Christ  our 

The  expression  "  Holy  of  Holies,"  or,  as  it  is  in  He- 
brew, o'rnp  nip,  Kodesh  Kodeshimy  refers  away  back  to 
that  portion  of  the  Temple  of  Solomon  which  was  in- 
accessible to  all  save  the  high-priest  alone,  and  even  to 
him  unless  on  the  great  Day  of  Atonement,  which  was 
celebrated  yearly  in  the  month  of  Tisri.  At  all  other 
times  it  was  considered  sacrilegious  even  to  look  into  this 
hallowed  place,  whence  the  very  light  of  day  itself  was 
excluded,  and  where  nothing  was  allowed  to  remain  save 
the  Ark  of  the  Covenant,  over  the  lid  of  which,  or  Pro- 
pitiatory, as  it  was  called,  shone  the  divine  Shechinah*  or 
visible  manifestation  of  Jehovah's  presence,  in  the  form 
of  a  luminous  cloud. 

The  adaptation  of  this  prayer  to  this  part  of  the  Mass 
is  admirable.  In  Solomon's  Temple  the  Holy  of  Holies 
was  entirely  shut  in  from  the  rest  of  the  building,  and 
from  the  gaze  of  everybody,  by  a  thick  veil,  which  no 
one  was  ever  permitted  to  draw  aside  but  the  high- 
priest  on  the  Day  of  Atonement,  and  not  then  until 
after  much  time  had   been   spent  in  prayer  and  in  per- 

•  The  presence  of  the  Shechinah  (from  the  Hebrew  Shak,  to  dwell)  was  one 
of  the  rare  privileges  of  Solomon's  Temple,  neither  of  the  subsequent  ones  pos- 
sessing it.  By  it  the  Jews  understood  the  presence  of  the  Holy  Ghost ;  and 
hence  it  is  that  in  the  Targums  we  find  the  distinctive  appellations  of  Jehovah, 
or  God ;  Memra,  or  the  Word ;  and  Shechinah,  or  the  Holy  Spirit.  According 
to  the  rabbins,  the  presence  of  the  Shechinah  drove  the  princes  of  the  air  from 
the  Temple,  terrified  the  demons,  and  communicated  a  peculiar  sanctity  to  all  around 
the  sacred  edifice  (Bannister,  Temples  of  the  Hebrews,  p.  142).  A  tradition  of  long 
Btanding  among  the  Jews  says  that  when  the  Temple  was  destroyed  by  the  Chaldeans 
the  Shechinah  was  seen  to  fly  away  from  it  in  the  shape  of  a  beautiful  dove,  never 
more  to  return. 

Confiteor.  191 

forming  the  purifications  required  by  the  law.  In  ask- 
ing Almighty  God,  therefore,  to  take  away  from  us  our 
iniquities,  we,  as  it  were,  ask  him  to  take  away  the 
veil  alluded  to,  for  our  sins  as  a  veil  keep  us  from  see- 
ing Him  as  He  is,  and  keep  us  from  the  true  Holy  of 
Holies,  where  not  a  mere  Shechinah  resides,  but  the 
great  Jehovah  of  the  New  Testament,  the  Son  of  God 
himself,  Body  and  Blood,  Soul  and  Divinity.  By  as 
much,  then,  as  a  substance  exceeds  its  shadow,  by  so 
much  does  our  Holy  of  Holies  exceed  that  of  Solomon's 
Temple ;  and  the  Tabernacle  in  which  the  Holy  One  is 
kept  is  infinitely  more  holy  and  more  precious  than  ever 
the  Ark  of  the  Covenant  was.  The  prayer  alluded  to  is 
very  ancient,  as  it  may  be  seen  in  all  the  early  Roman 
Ordos,  and  mention  is  made  of  it  by  Micrologus,*  who 
wrote  in  the  eleventh  century   (Romsee,  iv.    75). 

When  the  priest  has  reached  the  altar  he  places  his 
hands  upon  it,  and,  having  made  a  slight  inclination, 
recites  the  prayer  "Oramus  te,  Domine,"  which  may 
thus  be  rendered  in  English:  "We  pray  thee,  0  Lord! 
through  the  merits  of  thy  saints  whose  relics  are  here 
present,  and  of  all  the  saints,  that  thou  wouldst  vouch- 
safe to  forgive  me  all  my  sins."  As  he  pronounces  the 
words  "whose  relics  are  here  present,"  he  kisses  the 
altar  out  of  respect  for  the  sacred  relics  themselves,  as 
well  as  to  testify  his  love  for  our  Divine  Lord,  whom 
the  altar  mystically  represents.  As  we  have  already  de- 
voted several  pages  to  the  custom  of  enclosing  relics  in 
the  altar,  we  shall  only  say  here  that,  even  though  for  some 
reason  or  other  there  should  be  no  relics  at  all  enclosed,  as 
is  often  the  case  in  this  country,  still  the  prayer  "Oramus 

*  It  is  not  certain  whether  "  Micrologus  "  was  the  name  of  an  author  or  the  name 
;    of  a  book.    The  production,  at  any  rate,  dates  from  the  time  following  closely  upon 
the  death  of  Pope  Gregory  VII.,  which  happened  a.d.  1065. 

192  Customs  relating  to  the  Celebration  of  Mass. 

te,  Domine,"  must  not  be  omitted.  At  Solemn  High 
Mass  the  altar  is  incensed  at  this  place,  but  at  Low  Mass 
the  priest,  after  having  recited  the  "  Oramus  te,"  goes  im- 
mediately to  the  missal,  placed  on  its  stand  at  the  Epistle 

Ancient  Customs. — Although  the  prayer  we  have  been 
speaking  of  may  be  found  in  missals  which  date  as  far  back 
as  the  ninth  century,  still  with  many  churches  it  was  never 
customary  to  recite  it  at  all,  and  we  see  that  it  is  not  recit- 
ed now  by  either  the  Carthusians  or  the  Dominicans.  The 
former  say  in  its  stead  a  "  Pater  "  and  "  Ave  "  ;  the  latter 
kiss  the  altar  simply,  and  say  nothing  but  the  "  Aufer  a 

In  ancient  times  the  custom  prevailed  of  kissing  at  this 
place,  instead  of  the  altar  itself,  a  cross  which  used  to  be 
painted  on  the  missal  (Romsee,  iv.  77).  A  vestige  of  this  is 
yet  to  be  seen  in  Pontifical  Mass,  where  the  bishop,  after  he 
has  said  the  "Oramus  te,  Domine,"  kisses  the  altar  first, 
and  then  the  Gospel  of  the  day,  presented  to  him  by  a 
subdeacon.  Some  used  to  kiss  a  sign  of  the  cross  traced 
upon  the  altar  with  the  finger.  The  Dominicans  observe 
this  practice  yet. 

Oriental  Customs  in  this  Respect. — The  Nestorian  priests 
kiss  the  altar,  as  we  do,  upon  first  reaching  it,  and  repeat 
this  act  of  reverence  frequently  through  the  Mass  (Smith 
and  Dwight,  Researches  in  Armenia,  ii.  2G1  et  passim). 
The  Armenians  kiss  a  beautifully-wrought  cross  on  the  back 
of  the  missal  (ibid.  112^  The  practice  with  the  rest  of 
the  Orientals  is  precisely  like  our  own,  as  we  see  from  their 
various  liturgies. 

Here  we  beg  to  call  the  reader's  particular  attention  to  a 
fact  well  worthy  of  remembrance — viz.,  that  there  was 
hardly  a  ceremony  or  liturgical   custom   ever  used   which 

Ancient  Customs  still  retained.  193 

may  not  yet  be  found,  either  whole  or  in  part,  in  the  cere- 
monies employed  by  the  Church  to-day.  What  is  not  seen 
in  Low  Mass  may  be  seen  in  High  Mass ;  and  what  is  not 
seen  in  the  Mass  of  an  ordinary  priest  may  be  seen  in  that 
celebrated  by  a  bishop ;  then,  again,  what  a  bishop's  Mass 
has  not  a  pope's  has.  We  shall  illustrate  what  we  mean  by 
examples.  In  ancient  times  the  "pax,"  or  kiss  of  peace, 
was  common  to  every  Mass,  and  every  member  of  the  con- 
gregation received  it  in  due  order  ;.  now  it  is  only  given  at 
Solemn  High  Mass,  and  then  only  to  the  members  of  the 
sanctuary.  The  custom  once  prevailed,  too,  of  pinning  a 
handkerchief  or  maniple  to  the  priest's  left  wrist  a  little  be- 
fore he  ascended  the  altar-steps,  for  purposes  that  we  have 
already  explained;  this  custom  is  now  reserved  for  a 
bishop's  Mass,  where  the  maniple  is  fastened  to  his  lord- 
ship's arm  at  the  "Indulgentiam."  Again,  when  the  peo- 
ple communicated  under  both  species,  other  chalices  besides 
that  used  by  the  priest  were  employed,  which  received  the 
name  of  ministerial,  from  the  fact  that  the  Precious  Blood 
was  administered  from  them  by  means  of  tubes  or  long 
reeds  ;  these  tubes  are  yet  employed  whenever  the  pope 
celebrates  Grand  High  Mass.  Many  things,  too,  may  be 
seen  in  Masses  for  the  dead  which  date  away  back  to  the 
early  days,  such  as  not  saying  the  opening  psalm,  or  "  Judi- 
ca  me,  Deus";  omitting  the  blessing  of  the  water  at  the 
Offertory,  and  of  the  people  at  the  end  of  Mass.  Man^ 
other  vestiges  of  ancient  practices  might  be  enumeratea, 
but  we  rest  content  with  the  citation  of  one  more,  taken 
from  the  Divine  Office  of  the  Breviary.  It  is  a  well- 
known  fact  that  while  the  Disciplina  Arcani,  or  "Disci- 
pline of  the  Secret,"  prevailed,  the  Lord's  Prayer  was  one  of 
those  things  that  the  catechumens  were  not  allowed  to  learn, 
or  even  hear  recited.  Now,  as  all  these  were  allowed  to  be 
present  at  the  recital  of  the  Divine  Office,  this  prayer  was 

194       Customs  relating  to  the  Celebration  of  Mass, 

never  said  aloud,  lest  it  might  be  heard  by  the  uninitiated  ; 
but  at  Mass  the  case  was  otherwise.  No  catechumen  could 
remain  in  church  after  the  Gospel,  and  hence,  as  no  fear 
was  to  be  apprehended  from  the  presence  of  any  but  the 
faithful,  when  the  priest  came  to  the  "  Pater  Noster "  he 
said  it  loud  enough  to  be  heard  by  all.  The  same  is  ob- 
servable in  the  Office  and  Mass  of  to-day. 



The  priest,  having  reached  the  Epistle  corner  of  the  altar, 
after  the  "Oramus  te,  Domine,"  stands  before  the  missal  and 
reads  from  it  the  Introit,  or  beginning  of  the  Mass  of  the 
day.  In  pronouncing  its  initial  words  he  makes  the  sign  of 
the  cross  upon  himself,  thereby  calling  to  mind  a  memorable 
ancient  custom  so  often  alluded  to  by  the  early  Fathers— 
viz.,  of  making  the  sacred  sign  at  the  beginning  of  every 
important  work.  "At  every  step  and  movement,"  says 
Tertullian  (second  century),  ' '  whenever  we  come  in  or  go 
out,  at  the  bath,  at  table,  whatever  we  are  doing,  we  make 
the  sign  of  the  cross  upon  our  foreheads "  (De  Corona 
Militis,  c.  ii.)  Strictly  speaking,  the  Introit  is  the  begin- 
ning of  Mass,  for  all  that  precedes  it  may  be  considered 
as  a  preparation  for  celebration ;  and  we  have  seen  that 
the  greater  part  of  it  has  not  been  long  of  obligation.. 
With  the  Ambrosians,  or  Milanese,  the  Introit  is  called  the 
Ingress.  The  Mozarabic  Missal  calls  it  the  Office,  as  does 
also  that  of  the  Carthusians,  Dominicans,  and  Carmelites  ; 
and  by  this  name  was  it  designated,  too,  in  the  ancient 
Missal  of  Sarum  ( Church  of  Our  Fathers,  vol.  iii.  p.  147). 

According  to  Merati  (Thesaur.  Sacr.  Bit.,  p.  70),  the  in- 
troduction of  Introits  into  the  Mass  is  to  be  ascribed  to  Pope 
Celestine  (a.d.  423-432).     Previous  to  this  pontiff's  time 


196  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

Mass  began  with  the  lessons,  and  in  some  cases  with  the 
litanies,  vestiges  of  which  custom  we  have  yet  in  some 
Masses  of  Lent.  All  liturgical  writers  are  agreed  in  ascrib- 
ing the  arrangement  of  the  Introits  as  they  stand  now,  at 
least  of  all  those  that  are  taken  from  the  Psalms,  to  Pope 
Gregory  the  Great.  He  placed  these,  together  with  the 
Graduals,  Offertories,  Communions,  etc.,  in  a  separate  book 
by  themselves,  called  the  Antiphonary ,  and  afterwards  drew 
upon  them  as  occasion  demanded.  It  is  well  to  note  here 
that  in  compiling  this  Antiphonary  the  pontiff  made  use,  not 
of  the  Hieronymian  translation  of  the  Vulgate  that  was  then 
in  circulation,  but  of  that  which  was  in  general  use  before 
St.  Jerome's  time,  and  called  indifferently  the  Versio  Commu- 
nis, Vetus  Itala,  and  Editio  Vulgata.  This  accounts  for  the 
difference  in  wording  between  those  passages  of  the  Psalms 
used  in  the  Mass  and  those  that  are  said  at  Yespers  and  at 
other  parts  of  the  Divine  Office.  For  example,  the  psalm 
"  Beatus  vir,"  or  the  Cxith,  has,  in  the  version  that  is  used 
in  the  Mass,  "metuit"  and  "  cupit "  where,  according  to 
St.  Jerome's  version,  we  read  "timet"  and  "volet.'"  And 
in  the  Cxlviith  Psalm,  or  the  "Lauda  Jerusalem,"  instead  of 
St.  Jerome's  rendition,  "  Mittit  crystallum  suam  sicut  buc- 
cellas,"  that  read  in  the  Mass  has  "  Emittit  christallum  suam 
sicut  frusta  panis,"  and  so  on  with  many  others.  Those  of 
the  Mozarabic  and  Ambrosian  rites,  though  not  following 
closely  the  ancient  Versio  Communis,  yet  approach  nearer  to 
it  by  far  than  to  St.  Jerome's  version  in  the  portions  that 
are  used  in  the  Mass.  The  versions  used  by  them  (they  are 
not  the  same)  are  evidently  some  of  those  of  which  St.  Au- 
gustine speaks  as  being  innumerable  about  his  time. 

"Whence  the  Introits  are  taken. — We  have  said  that  Pope 
Gregory  is  the  author  of  all — at  least  so  far  as  regards  their 
arrangement — the  Introits  that  are  taken  from  the  Psalter. 
There  are  several  which  are  not  taken  from  the  Psalms  at 

The  Introit.  197 

all,  and  a  few  which  are  taken  from  no  part  of  Scripture,  be- 
ing the  composition  of  some  pious  individuals.  Nay,  more, 
there  is  one  which  is  taken  from  an  apocryphal  book — viz., 
the  fourth  book  of  Esdras — of  which  we  shall  presently 
speak.  Those  Introits  which  are  not  from  the  Psalms  but 
from  other  parts  of  Scripture  are  by  Durandus  termed  irregu* 
lar,  probably  because  they  are  not  found  in  the  Gregorian 
Antiphonary.  Of  such  is  the  Introit  for  the  third  Mass  of 
Christmas  morning,  the  "Puer  natus  est  nobis,"  taken  from, 
Isaias,  chapter  ix.,  and  that  for  the  Epiphany,  "Ecce  ad- 
venit  Dominator  Dominus,"  from  Malachias,  chapter  iii. 
Those  that  are  not  Scriptural  at  all  are  the  "Salve  sancta 
parens/'  common  to  nearly  all  the  Masses  of  our  Blessed 
Lady,  the  Mother  of  God,  and  the  accredited  composition  of 
the  Christian  poet  Sedulius,  or  Shiels,1  who  flourished  in  the 
fifth  century ;  the  "  Gaudeamus  omnes  in  Domino  "  of  the 
Feast  of  the  Assumption  ;  and  the  "  Benedicta  sit  Sancta 
Trinitas"  for  the  Feast  of  Holy  Trinity.  This  latter  is 
generally  marked  in  our  missals  as  being  from  the  book  of 
Tobias,  chapter  xii.,  but  this  is  a  mistake ;  in  no  part  of 
Scripture  do  we  find  the  Adorable  Trinity  menticned  ex- 
pressly by  one  name.  That  the  greater  part,  indeed,  of  this 
Introit  is  framed  on  the  sixth  verse  of  the  said  chapter  is 
undoubtedly  true,  but  it  is  incorrect  to  say  that  all  of  it  is 
taisen  thence.  We  have  said  that  there  is  an  Introit  which 
is  taken  from  an  apocryphal  book ;  this  is  the  one  used  in 
the  Mass  for  the   third  feria  after  Pentecost  Sunday,  be- 

1  According  to  the  general  opinion,  Sedulius,  or  Shiels,  was  an  Irishman  by  birth. 
At  an  early  age  he  is  said  to  have  settled  in  Italy,  where,  having  prosecuted  his  studies 
with  much  success,  he  was  ordained  priest,  and,  according  to  some,  advanced  to  the 
episcopacy.  All  pronounce  him  an  eminent  scholar  and  profound  divine.  The  Church 
uses  many  of  his  hymne  in  her  service,  the  principal  of  which  are,  "  A  solis  ortua  car- 
dine,"  proper  to  Lauds  of  Christmas  day ;  and  "  Herodes  hostis  impie,"  or,  as  the 
Roman  Breviary  has  it,  "  Crudelis  Herodes."  The  reader  must  be  careful  not  to  con- 
found this  Sedulius  with  another  of  the  same  name,  but  styled  the  Younger,  who  waa 
bishop  in  Spain  in  the  eighth  century,  and  who  wrote  a  history  of  the  ancient  Irish- 

198  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

ginning  thus:  " Accipite  jucunditatem."  It  is  from  the 
fourth  book  of  Esdras,2  chapter  ii. 

Scope  of  the  Introit. — As  a  general  rule  the  scope  of  the 
Introit  is  a  key  to  the  entire  Mass  of  the  day.  If  the  occa- 
sion be  one  of  great  solemnity,  and  the  Introit  be  taken  from 
the  Psalter,  it  is  generally  from  those  psalms  that  are  most 
expressive  of  joy  and  exultation.  Thus,  on  Easter  Sunday, 
when  the  whole  earth  bursts  forth  in  songs  of  praise  over 
the  glorious  Resurrection  of  our  Divine  Lord,  the  Introit  is 
taken  from  one  of  the  most  beautiful  psalms  among  the 
entire  one  hundred  and  fifty — viz.,  the  Cxxxviiith. 

On  occasions  of  great  sorrow  the  Introit  is  generally  from 
those  psalms  known  as  the  elegiac,  such  as  that  for  Septuage- 
sima  Sunday,  when  the  Church  puts  on  her  penitential  gar- 
ments, and  earnestly  exhorts  her  children  to  prepare  them- 
selves by  fasting  and  penance  for  the  sorrowful  tragedy  that 
is  to  be  enacted  the  last  week  of  Lent. 

On  the  feasts  of  particular  saints  it  is  generally  formed  so 
as  to  favor  some  special  feature  in  the  saint's  career.  Thus, 
for  instance,  in  the  case  of  St.  Jerome  iEmilianus,  who  was 
known  the  world  over  for  his  singular  compassion  in  behalf 
of  forlorn  children,  the  Introit  is  taken  from  the  Lamenta- 
tions of  Jeremias  :  "  My  liver  is  poured  out  upon  the  earth, 
for  the  destruction  of  the  daughter  of  my  people,  when  the 
children  and  the  sucklings  fainted  away  in  the  streets  of 
the  city"  (chap.  ii.  11). 

Structure  of  the  Introits. — The  Introits,  as  a  general  rule, 
are  made  up  of  a  few  verses  from  some  of  the  Psalms  or 
other  portions  of  Holy  Scripture,  followed  by  the  minor  dox- 
ology.     Formerly  the  entire  psalm  used  to  be  repeated  at 

*  There  was  a  very  spirited  discussion  in  the  Council  of  Trent  about  the  propriety 
of  putting  this  book  on  the  list  of  canonical  Scripture.  Some  of  the  Fathers,  consider 
lug  its  rare  worth  in  general  and  the  'ofty  tone  of  its  sentiments,  argued  strongly  it 
Invor  of  it,  while  others  opposed  it.    The  latter,  however,  ruled ;  and  so  it  yet  remain*, 

The  Introit.  199 

thk  place  (Bona,  p.  312),  either  by  the  priest  himself  oi 
more  generally  by  the  choir.  Pope  Benedict  XIV.  is  oui 
authority  for  saying  that  this  custom  prevailed  in  the  ma- 
jority of  churches  up  to  the  sixteenth  century  (De  Sacro. 
Missce  Sacrif.,  c.  xvii.) 

When  the  priest  has  read  the  entire  Introit  he  reiterates  it 
as  far  as  the  psalm  appended  to  it.  Taken  in  a  mystic  point 
of  view,  this  initiatory  prayer  recalls  to  mind  the  clamors 
and  anxious  expectations  of  the  patriarchs  and  prophets  of 
old  for  the  coming  of  the  Messias,  and  its  double  repetition 
signifies  the  renewed  earnestness  with  which  this  great  event 
was  looked  for  (Durandus,  Rationale  Divin.,  p.  153).  In  many 
of  King  David's  Psalms  we  find  examples  of  this  holy  im- 
portunity, where  we  see  the  most  important  verses  recited 
sometimes  twice  and  thrice  over ;  see,  among  others,  Psalm 
xli.  The  Canticle  of  Canticles  affords  many  more  instances, 
and  striking  ones  at  that.  Thus,  in  the  fourth  chapter 
the  spouse  is  invited  from  Lebanon  three  different  times  : 
"Come  from  Lebanon,  my  spouse,  come  from  Lebanon, 

The  priests  of  the  Carmelite  Rite  repeat  the  Introit  as  we 
do,  on  ordinary  occasions  ;  but  on  the  more  solemn  feasts  of 
the  year  they  repeat  it  three  times.  According  to  Le  Brun, 
the  literal  or  natural  reason  of  thus  lengthening  out  this 
part  of  the  Mass  was  to  give  time  for  the  incensing  of  the 
altar,  etc.,  at  Solemn  High  Mass,  where  the  duty  of  singing 
the  Introit  always  devolved  upon  the  choir  (see  Explication 
des  Prieres  et  des  Ceremonies  de  la  Messe,  i.  176). 

Almaricus,  Bishop  of  Treves,  as  related  by  Fortunatus  (De 
Ord.  Antiph.,  cap.  xxi.),  says  that  Almighty  God,  in  order  to 
testify  His  approval  of  this  portion  of  the  Mass,  caused  His 
angels  to  sing  for  the  Introit  of  the  Mass  in  the  Church  of 
Holy  Wisdom,  at  Constantinople,  on  the  Feast  of  the  Epiph- 
any, the  ninety-fourth  Psalm,  or  the  "Venite  exult  emus." 

200  TJie  Celebration  of  Mass. 

In  Masses  for  the  dead  the  priest  does  not  make  the 
sign  of  the  cross  on  himself  when  beginning  the  Introit, 
but  rather  over  the  book,  towards  the  ground,  as  if  to 
bless  the  earth  where  the  dead  lie  sleeping  (Kozma,  p. 

Introits  in  the  Eastern  Church. — In  the  Mass  of  the  East- 
era  Church  there  are  two  Introits,  although  neither  is 
precisely  the  same  thing  as  ours,  but  rather  a  minor  and 
greater  procession.  The  former  takes  place  a  little  before 
the  expulsion  of  the  catechumens,3  and  consists  only  of  the 
translation  of  the  book  of  the  Holy  Gospels  to  the  altar  by 
the  deacon.  The  latter,  or  greater  Introit,  called  by  the 
Greeks  tf  jxeydXtj  eiaodo?,  megale  eisodos,  follows  the  expul- 
sion of  the  catechumens,  and  is  attended  with  such  a  gor- 
geous display  of  ritual  that  many  have  taken  umbrage  at  it 
To  understand  the  ground  of  offence  it  must  be  borne  in 
mind  that  on  the  occasion  of  this  major  Introit  the  uncon- 
secrated  elements  are  carried  in  solemn  procession  from  the 
prothesis,  or  cruet-table,  to  the  main  altar  amid  fumes  of 
incense  and  a  multitude  of  blazing  torches.  An  army  of 
deacons  and  acolytes  accompanies  the  procession,  and  the 
people  of  the  congregation  as  it  passes  along  prostrate  them- 
selves in  silent  adoration.  It  was  this  latter  feature  that 
formed  the  chief  cause  of  complaint,  and  that  led  the  cen- 
sors sent  out  by  the  Holy  See  to  the  Eastern  regions  to 
abolish  this  rite  in  the  liturgies  of  the  orthodox.  The 
Orientals  attempt  a  -defence  of  their  seemingly  strange  cus- 
tom by  saying  that  no  adoration  whatever  is  here  intended, 
but  only  what  may  be  termed  a  sort  of  anticipatory  reverence 
in  view  of  what  the  elements  will  be  changed  into  in  course 
of  the  Holy  Sacrifice — viz.,  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ. 
This    is    the    explanation    given    by    Gabriel,    Exarch    of 

*  Although  the  ceremony  of  expelling  the  catechumens  has  long  since  ceased  in  the 
East  as  well  as  in  the  West  still  these  expressions  are  yet  retained  by  the  Orientals. 

Kyrie  Eleison.  201 

Philadelphia,   in  Lydia,  Asia  Minor  (Neale,  Holy  Eastern 
Church,  i.  375). 


When  the  priest  has  finished  the  Introit  he  proceeds  to 
ihe  middle  of  the  altar,  and  there  recites  alternately  with  the 
server  the  "Kyrie  eleison,"  or  Minor  Litany,  as  it  used  to 
be  called  in  the  early  days.  When  it  is  a  Solemn  High 
Mass  this  is  recited  at  the  book.  "  Kyrie  eleison,"  and  its 
accompanying  "  Christe  eleison,"  are  two  Greek  expressions 
meaning  "  Lord  have  mercy  on  us,"  "  Christ  have  mercy  on 
us."  Including  what  is  said  by  the  priest  of  this  solemn  peti- 
tion for  mercy,  and  what  is  said  by  the  clerk  or  server,  we 
have  in  all  nine  separate  petitions,  which  liturgical  writers 
interpret  as  follows  :  "  Kyrie  eleison  "  is  said  three  times  to 
God  the  Father  for  his  manifold  mercies  ;  "  Christe  eleison  * 
is  said  three  times  to  God  the  Son,  the  author  of  our  redemp- 
tion ;  and  "Kyrie  eleison  "  is  thrice  repeated  again  to  God 
the  Holy  Ghost,  the  sanctifier  and  consoler  (Kozma,  168). 

There  is  a  very  ancient  tradition,  and,  to  say  the  least  oi 
it,  a  very  beautiful  one,  to  the  effect  that  our  Divine  Lord, 
on  the  occasion  of  his  glorious  ascension  into  heaven,  tarried 
one  day  with  each  of  the  nine  choirs  of  angels  before  he 
reached  the  celestial  throne,  and  that  in  memory  of  this  the 
"  Kyrie "  is  repeated  nine  times  (Neale,  Song  of  Songs,  p. 
86).  This  tradition,  according  to  some  of  the  early  Fathers, 
furnishes  a  key  to  the  interpretation  of  that  passage  in  the 
Canticle  of  Canticles  where  the  spouse  is  represented  as 
"leaping  upon  the  mountains"  and  "skipping  over  the 
hills"  (chap.  ii.  8).  The  mountains  and  hills,  say  they, 
are  the  grades  of  the  angelic  choir  through  which  our  Lord 
passed  {ibid.) 

Some  attribute  the  introduction  of  the  "Kyrie"  into  the 
Mass  to  Pope  Gregory  the  Great  :  but  this  cannot  be  correct, 

202  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

for  that  holy  pontiff  himself  said  that  he  only  caused  it  to 
be  recited  by  both  priest  and  people,  because  in  the  Greek 
Church  it  was  solely  confined  to  the  latter,  and  even  then 
there  was  no  mention  whatever  of  the  "Christe  eleison." 
Another  very  strong  proof  of  the  earlier  introduction  of  it 
is  that  the  Fathers  of  the  second  Council  of  Vaison,  held  in 
A.D.  529,  speak  of  it  as  if  well  known  throughout  the  whole 
Church ;  and  this  was  at  least  sixty  years  before  Pope 
Gregory's  pontificate.  We  deem  it  well  to  quote  the  words 
of  this  council  :  "  Let  that  beautiful  custom  of  all  the  pro- 
vinces of  the  East  and  of  Italy  be  kept  up — viz. ,  that  of  sing- 
ing with  grand  effect  and  compunction  the  '  Kyrie  eleison  ' 
at  Mass,  Matins,  and  Vespers — because  so  sweet  and  pleas- 
ing a  chant,  even  though  continued  day  and  night  with- 
out interruption,  could  never  produce  disgust  or  weariness  " 
[Surnrna  Conciliorum,  p.  89). 

In  many  churches  the  custom  prevailed  for  some  time  of 
intermingling  with  the  "  Kyrie,"  certain  intercalary  expres- 
sions touching  the  nature  of  the  feast  of  the  occasion.  Thus, 
on  feasts  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  it  would  read  after  this 
manner  :  "0  Lord,  thou  lover  of  virginity,  illustrious  Fa- 
ther and  Mary's  Creator,  have  mercy  on  us";  and  so  on 
with  the  rest  of  it  (Romsee,  p.  84). 

The  Ambrosians,  or  those  who  follow  the  Milanese  Rite, 
recite  the  "  Kyrie  "  at  three  different  periods  of  the  Mass — 
viz.,  after  the  "Gloria  in  excelsis,"  after  the  Gospel,  and 
at  the  conclusion  of  divine  service. 

Why  said  in  Greek. — There  are  certain  words  and  expres- 
sions so  peculiarly  adapted  to  the  language  in  which  they 
were  first  conceived  that  they  lose  all  their  force  and  beauty 
when  translated  into  another.  Of  such  a  nature  are  the 
words  "alleluia,"  "hosanna,"  and  "Kyrie  eleison."  But 
there  is  a  deeper  reason  than  this  for  retaining  them  in  the 
Mass.     Originally  the  Church  was  principally  formed  out  of 

Kyrie  Eleison.  203 

three  different  nations — viz.,  the  Latin,  the  Greek,  and  the 
Hebrew — and  in  order  to  testify  that  the  belief  of  these  three 
nations  was  one  and  the  same,  the  Western  or  Latin  Church 
thought  it  proper  to  preserve  the  memory  of  the  fact  by 
adopting  phrases  from  each  of  them.  From  the  Greek  we 
have  "Kyrie  eleison,  Ohriste  eleison,"  and  in  the  Impro- 
peria  of  Good  Friday,  "Agios  Theos,  Agios  Ischuros,  Agios 
Athanatos" ;  and  from  the  Hebrew,  "amen,"  "alleluia," 
"  hosanna,"  "  Sabaoth,"  "cherubim  "  and  "seraphim,"  and 
several  others  which  occur  now  and  then  in  the  Epis- 
tles and  Gospels.  But  liturgical  writers  give  several  other 
reasons  for  the  retention  of  these  languages  in  the  Mass, 
foremost  of  which  is  that  they  have  ever  been  looked  upon 
as  venerable  and  sacred,  from  the  fact  that  the  title  of  the 
cross  was  written  in  them ;  and  as  the  sacrifice  of  the  Mass 
and  that  offered  on  the  cross  are  one  and  the  same,  except 
that  the  former  is  offered  in  an  unbloody  manner,  what 
could  be  more  appropriate  than  to  give  these  hallowed  lan- 
guages a  place  in  it  ?  The  Greek  has  innumerable  other 
claims  to  the  place  it  holds.  It  was  the  vernacular  of  some, 
in  fact  we  might  say  of  the  vast  majority,  of  the  early  heroes 
and  defenders  of  the  faith — of  St.  John  Chrysostom,  St.  Gre- 
gory Nazianzen,  St.  Basil  the  Great,  St.  John  Damascene, 
and  hosts  of  others.  It  was  in  it  that  the  very  valuable 
and  venerable  translation  of  the  Scriptures  called  the  Sep- 
tuagint  was  made,  from  which  our  Lord  and  his  blessed 
Apostles  drew  so  largely  in  their  addresses  to  the  people 
(Dixon,  Introduction  to  the  Sacred  Scrip.,  p.  98). 

One  thing  alone,  to  pass  over  all  others,  should  entitle  the 
Hebrew  to  a  place  in  the  Mass — viz.,  it  was  the  language  of 
Melchisedec,  the  prototype  in  the  old  law  of  our  Divine  Lord 
himself  in  relation  to  his  sacred  and  eternal  priesthood. 
It  was  also  the  vernacular  of  our  Lord  and  his  ever-blessed 
Mother,  not  to  say  of  the  majority  of  his  disciples  in  the 

<c04  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

new  law.  We  do  not  think  it  necessary  to  enter  here  into  a 
full  history  of  the  ancient  Hebrew  and  what  it  is  so  often 
known  by — viz.,  the  Syro-Chaldaic,  or  Syriac.  Let  it  suffice 
to  say  that  since  the  Baby  Ionic  captivity  there  has  been  no 
true  Hebrew  spoken  by  the  Jews ;  and  that  what  goes  by 
that  name  in  the  New  Testament  was  an  Aramean  branch  of 
the  Semitic  family  of  languages  known  as  the  Syriac.  It  can 
be  proved,  almost  to  a  demonstration,  that  this  was  the 
language  our  Lord  spoke. 

Oriental  Usage  regarding  the  "Kyrie  eleison." — The  Li- 
turgy of  St.  James4  is  the  only  Eastern  Liturgy  which 
enjoins  the  recital  of  the  "Kyrie"  on  the  priest.  In 
all  the  others  it  is  solely  confined  to  the  choir  and  peo- 
ple, who,  however,  on  no  occasion  say  "  Christe  eleison." 
The  Liturgy  of  St.  Chrysostom  4  prescribes  the  recital  of  the 
"  Kyrie  "  after  all  the  principal  supplications. 


After  the  recital  of  the  "Kyrie"  follows  that  of  the 
"  Gloria  in  excelsis,"  or  major  doxology,  during  which  the 
priest  makes  several  reverences  by  bowing  the  head 
slightly  at  some  of  its  principal  clauses,  and  terminates  it 
by  making  the  sign  of  the  cross  upon  his  person. 

*  The  Liturgy  of  St.  James  lays  claim  to  the  first  place  among  all  the  liturgies  of  the 
East.  It  is  said  to  be  the  oldest  in  existence,  having  been  committed  to  writing  some- 
where about  the  beginning  of  the  third  century.  Though  now  rarely  used  in  its  en- 
tirety, still  it  is  the  basis  of  all  those  liturgies  used  by  the  Maronites,  Syrians,  and 
Nestorians,  and  is  the  one  accredited  to  the  churches  within  the  patriarchate  of  Jerusa- 
lem. It  is  used  in  some  of  the  islands  of  the  Archipelago  on  St.  James'  day.  5  The  Lit* 
urgy  of  St.  Chrysostom,  derived  and  abbreviated  from  that  of  St.  Basil,  as  the  Jatter  is 
from  that  of  St.  James,  has  the  largest  circulation  at  present  of  any  known  Liturgy  in 
the  East.  It  is  in  general  use  wherever  the  Greek  Rite,  no  matter  what  the  language 
be,  prevails.  It  is  therefore  the  Liturgy  of  Russia  and  of  the  four  patriarchates,  Con- 
stantinople, Alexandria,  Antioch,  and  Jerusalem,  as  well  as  of  the  kingdom  of  Greece. 
On  those  occasions  upon  which  it  is  not  employed— viz.,  on  the  Sundays  of  Lent,  ex- 
cept Palm  Sunday,  and  Holy  Thursday,  Holy  Saturday,  and  the  vigils  of  Christmas  and 
the  Epiphany— the  Liturgy  of  St.  Basil  supplies  its  place. 

Gloria  in  Excelsis.  205 

Regarding  the  authorship  of  the  opening  words  of  this 
sublime  anthem  no  doubts  can  be  entertained,  for  the 
Evangelists  record  them  as  having  been  sung  by  the 
Heavenly  Host  over  Bethlehem  on  Christmas  morning. 
Much  dispute,  however,  has  arisen  regarding  the  remain- 
der ;  some  attributing  them  to  one  author,  others  to  an- 
other. A  very  widely  circulated  opinion  accredits  it  to 
St.  Hilary,  Bishop  of  Poictiers,  in  France,  a.d.  353. 
Whoever  be  its  author,  this  much  is  certain :  that  it 
existed  word  for  word  as  it  stands  now  before  the  Coun- 
cil of  Nicaea,  held  in  a.d.  325  (Kozma,  p.  170;  Bona). 
Rather,  then,  than  ascribe  it  to  any  one  in  particular, 
in  the  absence  of  substantial  proof,  it  is  better  to 
say,  with  the  Fathers  of  the  fourth  Council  of  Toledo,  in 
Spain,  held  a.d.  633,  that  the  remainder  was  composed  by 
doctors  of  the  Church,  whoever  these  were  (Merati,  Thesaur. 
Sacr.  Bit.,  p.  72). 

So  careful  was  the  ancient  Church  of  securing  for  this 
sacred  anthem  all  the  veneration  that  was  due  to  it  that 
she  restricted  its  recital  to  very  grand  occasions,  and  even 
then  confined  it  solely  to  bishops.  But  it  was  not  at  its 
introduction  confined  exclusively  to  the  Mass,  for  we  find 
it  prescribed  for  the  Morning  Service,  or  Matins,  of  the 
Divine  Office  (Romsee,  iv.  90).  The  precise  date  of  its 
introduction  into  the  Mass,  or  who  introduced  it,  is  not 
easy  to  settle.  Those  who  ascribe  its  introduction  to  Pope 
Telesphorus  are  evidently  incorrect  in  so  doing,  for  it  is 
now  very  well  ascertained  that  he  only  caused  to  be  said 
the  initial  sentence,  or  the  part  chanted  by  the  angels,  and 
had  nothing  to  do  with  the  rest  of  it  (Bona,  p.  317).  Until 
the  entire  hymn  was  composed,  the  first  part  of  it,  or 
the  angelic  words,  used  to  be  sung — not,  however,  in  every 
Mass,  but  only  in  the  Midnight  Mass  of  Christmas,  as  the 
above-named  pontiff  decreed  (ibid.)      According  to  Pop© 

206  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

Innocent  III.  (De  Sacr.  Altaris  Mysterio,  cap.  xx.  p.  113), 
it  was  Pope  Symmachus  (498-514)  who  extended  it  in  its 
present  form  to  every  Sunday  in  the  year  and  to  the  feasts 
of  all  the  holy  martyrs.  Some  maintain  that  the  decree 
regulating  this  discipline  was  to  be  viewed  as  a  general  one, 
And  that  hence  it  included  priests  as  well  as  bishops ;  oth- 
ers hold  that  it  affected  the  latter  only.  Whether  it  did 
or  did  not,  this  much  is  certain :  that  when  Pope  Gregory 
the  Great  attained  to  the  pontificate  (590-604)  no  priest 
was  accustomed  to  say  it  in  any  Mass,  unless  in  that  of 
Easter  Sunday ;  and  bishops  were  not  allowed  to  recite  it 
except  on  Sundays  and  festivals.  From  a  very  ancient 
Roman  directory  yet  preserved  in  the  Vatican  Library  we 
derive  the  following  information  in  point :  ( '  Dicitur  *  Glo- 
ria in  excelsis  Deo,'  si  episcopus  fuerit,  tantummodo  die 
Dominico,  sive  diebus  festis.  A  presbyteris  autem  minime 
dicitur  nisi  in  solo  Pascha  "  (Bona,  p.  317) — that  is,  "  If  the 
bishop  celebrates,  the  '  Gloria  in  excelsis '  is  said  only  on 
Sundays  and  festivals.  On  no  account  must  it  be  said  by 
priests,  unless  on  Easter  Sunday  alone."  This  same  re- 
striction was  approved  of  and  enjoined  by  Pope  Gregory, 
who  also  caused  it  to  be  inserted  in  a  conspicuous  place  in 
the  missal  made  out  under  his  supervision  ;  and  in  this  way 
did  it  continue,  according  to  Cardinal  Bona,  until  about  the 
middle  of  the  eleventh  century,  when  the  restriction  was 
taken  away  and  the  privilege  of  reciting  it  extended  to 
priests  and  bishops  alike  in  every  Mass  that  admitted 
of  it. 

According  to  Martene  and  others,  this  hymn  used  to  be 
chanted  in  early  times  at  Rome  on  Christmas  morning,  in 
Greek  first  and  then  in  Latin.  The  same  custom  prevailed 
also  among  the  clergy  of  Tours,  where  it  was  said  in  Greek 
at  the  first  Mass,  and  at  the  second  in  Latin  (Enchiridion  d$ 
Sacr.  Missce  ex  opere  Ben.  XIV.,  p.  31). 

Gloria  in  Excelsis,  207 

iffhen  the  M  Gloria  in  excelsis"  may  be  said. — As  the  An. 

gelic  Hymn  is  one  of  joy  and  festivity,  its  recital  is  forbid, 
den  to  all  during  seasons  of  penance  and  mourning.  Hency 
it  is  not  heard  during  Lent  or  in  Masses  for  the  dead.  Du 
randus  tells  us,  with  no  small  amount  of  holy  indignation, 
that  in  times  gone  by  the  bishop  of  Bethlehem  arrogated  to 
himself  the  right  of  reciting  it  on  every  occasion,  no  matte* 
whether  it  was  a  joyful  or  a  sorrowful  one,  and  this  for  the 
reason  that  an  exception  should  be  made  in  case  of  the  city 
where  the  sacred  anthem  had  first  been  heard  (Rationale 
Divinorum,  p.  172).  The  present  rule  regarding  its  recital 
is  that  which  was  laid  down  by  Pope  Pius  V. — viz.,  that 
whenever  the  "  Te  Deum  "  is  recited  in  the  Divine  Office  this 
hymn  is  said  in  the  Mass.  This,  however,  admits  of  a 
few  exceptions  ;  but  as  we  are  not  writing  a  ceremonial,  we 
do  not  think  it  our  duty  to  name  what  they  are,  and  we  wish 
our  readers  to  bear  this  in  mind  in  similar  cases. 

How  the  Dominicans,  Carthusians,  and  Others  recite  it. 
— The  Carthusians  and  Dominicans,  as  their  ceremonials 
direct,  go  to  the  middle  of  the  altar,  as  we  do,  to  recite  this 
hymn,  but  after  they  have  said  its  initial  words  they  return 
and  finish  the  remainder  at  the  missal.  This  custom  pre- 
vailed also  in  the  Mass  according  to  the  Sarum  Kite  ( Church 
of  Our  Fathers,  iii.  148). 

Practice  of  the  Oriental  Church. — Singularly  enough,  the 
Nestorians  are  the  only  Christians  of  the  East  who  recite 
this  hymn  in  the  Mass  (Neale,  Holy  Eastern  Church,  i.  471). 
The  Greek  Church  recites  it  frequently  in  the  Divine  Office, 
but  never  in  the  Liturgy  or  Mass.  It  appears,  to  be  sure, 
in  the  Liturgy  of  St.  James,  but  not  the  entire  hymn,  only 
the  angelic  part,  or  that  which  used  to  be  said  at  first  in 
the  Latin  Church.  And  this  cannot  but  be  a  strong  argu- 
ment against  those  who  would  have  the  authorship  of  it 
accredited  to  Pope  Telesphorus,  who  died  in  A.D.  154 ;  for 

208  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

undoubtedly,  if  it  existed  in  its  entirety  then  as  now,  it 
would  be  so  inserted  in  that  Liturgy,  which,  in  the  opinion 
of  the  ablest  critics,  was  not  edited  earlier  than  the  year  200. 


At  the  conclusion  of  the  ' '  Gloria  in  excelsis  "  the  priest 
stoops  down  and  kisses  the  altar;  then,  having  turned  to 
the  people,  salutes  them  with  "  Dominus  vobiscum" — "  The 
Lord  be  with  you" — words  evidently  taken  from  the  Old 
Testament,  where  we  see  them  employed  on  various  occasions 
(see  Ruth  ii.  4  ;  2  Parol,  xvi.  et  passim).  The  Jews  were 
very  particular  in  having  the  name  of  God  in  all  their  salu- 
tations, or  at  least  an  allusion  to  some  one  of  God's  good 
gifts.  Their  other  salutations  used  to  be  :  1,  The  blessing 
of  Jehovah  upon  thee  ;  2,  May  God  be  with  thee ;  3,  Be 
thou  blessed  of  Jehovah  ;  4,  Peace  be  to  thee.  It  was  this 
last  form  that  the  Angel  Gabriel  used  when  he  announced 
to  our  Blessed  Lady  that  she  was  to  be  the  favored  Mother 
of  the  "  Long-expected  of  nations, "  our  Saviour  and  Re- 
deemer. What  in  English  is  rendered  by  "  Hail  to  thee  "  is 
in  Syriac — the  vernacular  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  at  that  time, 
and  evidently  the  language  in  which  the  angel  addressed 

her — u*.s^  }o!L-*  Slom  lek — "Peace  to  thee." 



We  have  seen  that  the  recital  of  the  "  Gloria  in  excelsis  " 
was  at  its  introduction  into  the  Mass  solely  confined  to  bish- 
ops, and  continued  to  be  peculiar  to  them  for  many  centu- 
ries afterwards.  Now,  inasmuch  as  peace — i.e.,  the  peace  of 
God,  which,  as  the  apostle  saith,"  surpasseth  all  understand- 
ing " — is  the  most  prominent  feature  set  forth  in  this  sacred 
anthem ;  and  as  our  Divine  Lord  always  made  use  of  the 
word  in  his  salutations  to  his  disciples  after  his  resurrec- 

Pax  Vobis.  209 

tion,  it  was  deemed  appropriate  to  deviate  from  the  usual 
"Dominus  vobiscum"  after  the  recital  of  this  hymn,  and 
say  in  its  stead,  "  Pax  vobis  "— "  Peace  be  to  you  "  To  keep 
up  an  old  custom,  and  to  establish  a  slight  difference  be- 
tween a  bishop's  manner  of  saying  Mass  and  that  of  a 
priest,  the  former  was  allowed  to  retain  the  use  of  "Pax 
vobis"  after  the  privilege  of  reciting  the  "Gloria"  had 
been  extended  to  the  latter  (Bona,  p.  318 ;  Le  Brun,  i.  205). 
But  it  is  only  at  the  end  of  this  anthem  that  the  bishop 
salutes  with  "Pax  vobis";  upon  every  other  occasion  he 
says  "Dominus  vobiscum"  like  an  ordinary  priest.  Some 
Spanish  bishops,  it  is  true,  arrogated  to  themselves  the  right 
of  saying  it  upon  every  occasion,  but  we  see  how  severely 
they  were  reprehended  for  so  doing  by  the  first  Council  of 
Braga.  in  a.d.  561  (Bona,  ibid.) 

Oriental  Customs. — The  Greeks  never  use  the  salutation 
"  Dominus  vobiscum,"  but  always  say  in  its  stead  "  Eiprjvrf 
naGiv"  eirene  pasin — that  is,  "Peace  to  all"  ;  to  which  is 
responded,  "  Ka\  t&>  nvevjxari  gov"  Kai  to  pneumati  sou 
— "And  to  thy  spirit."  The  same  forms  are  observed  in 
all  the  other  churches  of  the  East,  with  very  little  difference. 
At  several  parts  of  the  Mass  it  is  customary  with  the  Nes- 
torian  priests  to  make  the  sign  of  the  cross  upon  themselves 
when  using  this  salutation,  which  is  generally,  "  Peace  be 
with  you  all."  Their  deacons,  for  the  most  part,  say, 
'  Peace  be  with  us"  (Badger,  Nestorians  and  their  Rituals> 
ii.  237  et  passim). 

After  having  said  the  "  Dominus  vobiscum,"  the  priest 
returns  to  the  Epistle  corner  of  the  altar,  and  there,  extend- 
ing his  hands  in  the  manner  of  a  suppliant,  reads  from  the 
missal  before  him  the  prayers  proper  to  the  occasion.  As  he 
is  about  to  read  the  first  he  invites  all  to  unite  with  him  in 
the  sacred  act  by  reciting  aloud  "  Oremus" — "Let  us  pray." 
In  former  times  it  was  customary  to  turn  entirely  around  to 

210  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

the  congregation  after  this  invitation  had  been  pronounced, 
and  explain  to  them  the  precise  nature  of  the  prayer  that 
followed,  a  vestige  of  which  is  still  retained  in  the  long 
series  of  prayers  recited  in  the  Mass  of  Good  Friday, 
where  we  see  a  particular  object  prefixed  to  each.  Another 
custom,  too,  that  obtained  in  ancient  times  was  for  the 
people  to  enter  into  a  sort  of  silent  prayer  after  they  had 
heard  "  Oremus,"  and  remain  in  this  quiet  meditation  until 
the  general  prayer  was  announced.  This  general  prayer  was 
denominated  "  i7tinkr)Gis"  epiklesis,  by  the  Greeks,  from 
ini,  upon,  and  uaXicj^  I  call — that  is,  an  invocation — 
but  in  Latin  it  received  the  name  of  collecta,  or  collect, 
from  the  verb  colligere,  to  gather  together ;  because  the 
common  wants  of  the  whole  people  were,  as  it  were,  brought 
together  in  it  and  laid  before  Almighty  God.  These  pray- 
ers go  by  the  name  of  collects  even  to-day  (Bona,  p.  319 
Selvaggio,  Inst.  Christian  Antiq.,  i.  p.  1). 


The  priest  recites  all  the  prayers  with  outstretched  and  ex- 
tended hands.  This  practice  is  not  new,  for  we  find  that  it 
was  observed  also  in  the  old  law.  Moses  thus  prayed  in  the 
wilderness,  and  the  Holy  Scripture  tells  us  that  as  long  as 
he  kept  his  hands  thus  uplifted  on  high  while  his  kinsmen 
fought  against  the  Amalekites  in  the  valley  of  Eaphidim,  the 
former  were  always  victorious,  but  that  when  he  let  them 
down  a  little,  victory  fell  to  the  latter  {Exod.  xvii. )  Many 
touching  allusions  are  made  to  this  extending  of  hands  in 
prayer  throughout  the  Old  Testament ;  and  we  see  it  also 
strongly  recommended  in  the  New,  for  St.  Paul  says,  '*  I  will 
that  men  pray  lifting  up  pure  hands  "  (1  Tim.  ii.  8).  And  that 
this  holy  and  venerable  attitude  was  observed  by  the  ancient 
Christians  in  their  devotions,  innumerable  testimonies  prove. 
The  Catacombs  bear  witness  of  the  fact  in  the  pictures  they 

Manner  of  reciting  the  Prayers,  211 

furnish  us  of  men  and  women  praying  in  this  way.  But 
it  is  only  the  priest  at  Mass  who  observes  this  practice 
now.  The  people  pray  that  way  no  longer,  but  rather  with 
hands  united.  Dr.  Kock  tells  us  in  his  Hierurgia  (p.  61) 
that  while  travelling  in  Europe  he  noticed  the  people  in 
many  of  the  churches  of  Munich  praying  after  the  ancient 
manner.  In  the  mystic  interpretation  of  this  posture  there 
is  reference,  first,  to  Adam's  uplifting  of  his  hand  in  reach- 
ing for  the  forbidden  fruit ;  and,  secondly,  to  the  lifting 
up  and  outstretching  of  our  Divine  Lord's  hands  on  the 
cross,  by  which  Adam's  transgression  was  atoned  for  (Bona, 
p.  322).  Praying  with  the  hands  fully  extended  in  the  form 
of  a  cross  is  yet  observed  at  certain  parts  of  the  Mass  by  the 
Carthusians,  Carmelites,  and  Dominicans,  as  we  see  from 
their  ceremonials. 

The  reader,  no  doubt,  will  be  curious  to  know  something 
more  about  the  manner  in  which  the  ancient  Christians 
assisted  at  Mass  than  what  we  have  given.  As  a  general 
rule  the  ancient  churches  had  no  seats  for  the  people  to  sit 
on,  as  that  position  was  deemed  ill  in  keeping  with  the 
gravity  becoming  the  house  of  God.  As  the  services,  how- 
ever, in  the  very  early  days  were  much  longer  than  at  pre- 
sent, those  who,  through  feebleness  of  health  or  other  cau- 
ses, could  not  stand,  were  allowed  the  use  of  staves  to  lean 
upon,  and  in  some  rare  cases  even  of  cushions  to  sit  upon, 
a  practice  which  is  yet  quite  common  in  the  churches  of 
Spain,  and  in  many  of  those  of  the  rest  of  Europe.  It  was 
the  rule  to  stand  always  on  Sunday,  in  memory  of  our  Lord's 
glorious  resurrection,  and  to  kneel  the  rest  of  the  week 
(Selvaggio,  b.  10).  As  kneeling  is  a  sign  of  humiliation,  it 
was  the  rule  to  observe  it  during  the  penitential  seasons 
and  on  all  occasions  of  mourning.  According  to  St.  Jerome, 
St.  Basil  the  Great,  Tertullian,  and  others,  these  rules  were  de- 
rived from  the  Apostles  themselves  ;  but  because  some  would 

212  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

sit  when  they  ought  to  stand,  and  some  stand  when  they 
ought  to  kneel,  the  Sacrosanct  Council  of  Nicsea,  in  or- 
der to  establish  uniformity,  thus  decreed  in  its  twentieth 
canon  :  "In  order  that  all  things  may  be  done  alike  in  every 
parish,  it  has  seemed  good  to  this  Holy  Synod  [to  decree] 
that  the  people  pour  out  their  prayers  standing"  (Summa 
Gonciliorum,  p.  35  ;  Selvaggio,  8).  Of  course  this  rule  did 
not  affect  the  Public  Penitents,  who  were  obliged  to  remain 
kneeling  during  the  entire  time  that  they  were  permitted  to 
be  present  in  the  house  of  God.  The  fourth  Council  of 
Carthage  strictly  forbade  them  ever  to  change  this  posture. 

Whenever  any  important  prayer  or  lesson  was  to  be  read, 
and  the  people  had  been  kneeling  beforehand,  the  deacon 
invited  them  now  to  stand  by  the  words,  "Erecti  stemus 
honeste  " — that  is,  "Let  us  become  erect  and  stand  in  a  be- 
coming manner."  During  the  penitential  season  the  con- 
gregation were  invited  to  kneel  by  saying,  "  Flectamus 
genua,"  and  to  stand  up  afterwards  by  "Levate."  The 
same  custom  may  yet  be  observed  in  Lent  and  on  some 
other  occasions.  The  Catholic  reader  need  not,  of  course, 
"be  told  that  during  the  actual  celebration  of  Mass  the  priest 
is  always  standing.  At  Solemn  High  Mass  he  and  his  min- 
isters are  allowed  to  sit  down  while  the  choir  are  chanting 
the  "Kyrie  eleison,"  "Gloria  in  excelsis,"  and  "Credo," 
but  never  at  any  other  part  of  the  service.  Two  singular 
instances  of  saying  Holy  Mass  in  a  sitting  posture  are  upon 
record.  Pope  Benedict  XIV.  did  so  in  his  declining  years, 
when  through  great  feebleness  of  health  he  could  neither 
stand  nor  kneel,  and  the  same  is  recorded  of  the  saintly  and 
ever-memorable  pontiff,  Pope  Pius  VII. 

Praying  towards  the  East. — The  custom  prevailed  very 
generally  with  the  Christians  of  early  days  of  turning  to  the 
east  in  prayer,  whether  at  Mass  or  out  of  Mass,  and  the  ma- 
jority of  ancient  churches  were  built  with  a  view  to  favor 

Number  of  Collects  said  in  the  Mass.  213 

this  custom.  The  reasons  given  for  this  practice  are  the 
following :  First,  because  the  east  is  symbolic  of  our  Lord, 
who  is  styled  in  Scripture  the  "  Orient  from  on  high/'  the 
"  Light,"  and  the  "  Sun  of  Justice."  Secondly,  the  Garden 
of  Eden  was  situated  in  that  region,  and  thence  did  the 
Magi  come  to  lay  their  gifts  at  the  crib  of  our  Lord  on 
Christmas  morning.  Thirdly,  according  to  St.  John  Da- 
mascene, when  our  Lord  hung  on  the  cross  his  back  was 
turned  to  the  east  and  his  face  to  the  west ;  we  therefore 
pray  to  the  east  that  we  may,  as  it  were,  be  looking  in  his 
face.  Fourthly,  the  ancients  prayed  in  this  direction,  in 
order  not  to  resemble  the  pagans,  who  moved  in  every  direc- 
tion— now  praying  towards  the  sun  at  mid-day,  now  towards 
the  moon,  and  again  towards  the  stars  ;  the  Saracens  prayed 
towards  the  south,  the  Jews  towards  Jerusalem,  and  the 
Mahometans  towards  Mecca.  Fifthly,  it  has  always  been 
looked  upon  as  an  established  thing  that  at  the  last  day  our 
Lord,  with  his  effulgent  cross  sparkling  in  the  heavens,  will 
come  to  judge  mankind  from  the  eastern  quarter  (see  Bona, 
Divina  Psalmodia,  p.  441 ;  Kiddle's  Christian  Antiquities, 
p.  795). 


On  occasions  of  great  solemnity  the  general  rule  pre- 
scribes but  one  Collect,  but  on  ordinary  occasions  three  is 
the  number.  It  is  forbidden  to  say  more  than  seven  at 
any  time,  and  this  number  is  rarely  reached  unless  when 
some  special  commemorations  are  made.  According  to 
liturgical  commentators,  one  prayer  mystically  represents 
the  unity  of  our  faith ;  three  are  said  in  honor  of  the 
Blessed  Trinity,  and  in  memory  of  our  Lord's  praying  thrice 
in  the  Garden  of  Olives  ;  five  commemorate  his  five  wounds ; 
and  by  seven  we  are  reminded  of  the  seven  gifts  of  the  Holy 
Ghost  (Bouvry,  ii.  128  ;  Durandus,  Rationale  Divin.,  p.  181). 

214:  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

Whatever  be  the  number  of  the  Collects,  none  others  may 
be  said  unless  those  given  in  the  missal.  As  far  back  as  the 
year  416  laws  were  made  by  the  Council  of  Milevi,  in  Africa, 
forbidding  under  severe  censures  the  introduction  of  any 
prayers  into  the  Mass  except  those  approved  of  by  legitimate 
authority.     This  discipline  is  yet  strictly  observed. 

Prayers  of  the  Oriental  Church.— The  prayers  used  by  the 
Orientals  are  much  more  numerous  than  ours,  as  may  be 
readily  seen  from  any  one  of  their  liturgies.  In  length,  too, 
they  far  exceed  those  that  we  employ,  for  which  reason  alone 
the  service  of  Mass  in  the  East  occupies  nearly  twice  the 
time  that  ours  does.  The  Copts  generally  add  prayers  for 
the  favorable  flow  of  the  Nile,  which  is  to  them  one  of  the 
chief  sources  of  temporal  blessings,  for  the  entire  vegetation 
and  fecundity  of  Egypt  depends  upon  its  inundations.* 
The  "  Oratio  fluminis,"  or  Prayer  of  the  Eiver,  is  thus 
worded  :  "  Eemember,  0  Lord  !  the  waters  of  the  river,  and 
bless  and  increase  them  according  to  their  measure." 


At  the  conclusion  of  the  prayers  the  server  answers 
"Amen,"  a  Hebrew  word  meaning  "may  it  be  so."  The 
custom  of  thus  answering  amen  at  the  end  of  the  prayers  is 
evidently  derived  from  the  old  law,  for  we  find  it  in  nearly 
every  book  of  the  Old  Testament,  and  it  is  also  very  common 
in  the  New.  According  to  Cardinal  Bona  (Divina  Psalmo- 
dia,  p.  532),  it  is  one  of  those  words  which  the  translators  of 
the  Bible  left  untouched,  lest  by  rendering  it  in  any  other 

6  There  is  an  instrument  for  measuring  the  rise  of  the  Nile  in  the  is/e  of  Rhoda, 
called  the  nilometer,  but  by  the  Arabs  Dvr-el-Mekias— place  of  measure.  According 
to  Kalkasendas,  if  the  river  rose  but  twelve  pikes  there  would  be  a  famine  ;  fourteen 
pikes  caused  a  year  of  plenty  ;  sixteen  grave  abundance  for  two  years  ;  and  when  tt 
reached  seventeen  it  had  attained  its  full  limit.  Great  fears  were  always  entertained  oJ 
its  going  beyond  this  boundary,  for  a  serious  inundation  would  be  the  result ;  and 
hence  the  earnestness  with  which  the  Copts  prayed  for  a  due  disposition  of  them 
waters  (cir.  Pococke's  Trawls  in  Egypt). 

The  Epistle.  215 

language  but  its  native  Hebrew  its  power  and  beauty  might 
be  lost. 


The  reading  of  the  Epistle  immediately  follows  the  last 
Collect.  To  this  end,  instead  of  keeping  his  hands  spread 
out  as  heretofore,  the  priest  now  rests  them  on  the  missal- 
stand,  while  he  reads  the  Epistle  in  an  audible  tone.  Nor  is 
this  change  in  the  position  of  the  hands  without  a  mystic 
meaning.  By  it  the  priest  is  made  aware  of  the  obligation 
he  is  under  of  not  only  reading  the  law,  but  also  of  doing 
what  it  prescribes,  the  hands  being  indicative  of  labor 
(Romsee,  iv.  101). 

The  particular  part  of  Scripture  from  which  the  Epistle 
is  taken,  as  well  as  the  Apostle's  name  to  whom  it  is  ac- 
credited, both  of  which  form  the  title,  are  first  read  before 
the  text  itself ;  thus,  for  example,  "  the  reading  of  the 
Epistle  of  blessed  Paul  the  Apostle  to  the  Corinthians," 
"to  the  Hebrews,"  "to  the  Romans,"  etc.,  as  the  case 
may  be.  If  the  lesson  to  be  read  be  taken  from  any  one 
of  the  three  books,  viz.,  Proverbs,  the  Canticle  of  Can- 
ticles, or  Ecclesiasticus,  its  title  is  always,  "  the  reading  of 
the  Book  of  Wisdom,"  without  any  further  specification,  for 
the  reason  that  these  three  books  were  always  denominated 
the  "Sapiential  Writings"  by  the  ancient  Fathers  (De 
Herdt,  Sacr.  Liturg.,  ii.  No.  63). 

The  ancient  Hebrews — and  the  practice  is  yet  kept  up  by 
the  modern  Jews — always  began  the  reading  of  the  Law  with 
the  forty-fourth  verse  of  the  fourth  chapter  of  Deuteron- 
omy, viz.,  "this  is  the  law  that  Moses  set  before  the  chil- 
dren of  Israel "  (Burder,  Eehg.  Cerm.  and  Customs,  p.  39). 
Before  the  Epistles  were  in  circulation,  the  custom  of  read- 
ing portions  of  the  Old  Testament  was  always  observed  in 
the  early  Church,  as  can  be  proved  by  numberless  testimo- 

216  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

nies.  The  Acts  of  the  Apostles  refer  frequently  to  this 
practice.  But  as  soon  as  the  Epistles  were  written  the  cus- 
tom of  reading  the  Old  Testament  gradually  died  away,  and 
gave  place  to  the  custom  which  is  now  in  vogue.  St.  Paul 
strictly  ordained  that  his  Epistles  should  be  read  in  all  the 
churches  under  his  charge.  In  his  Epistle  to  the  Colos^ 
sians,  chapter  iv.,  he  writes  thus:  "  And  when  this  Epistle 
shall  have  been  read  with  you,  cause  that  it  be  read  also  in 
the  Church  of  the  Laodiceans."  And  at  the  end  of  his  first 
Epistle  to  the  Thessalonians  he  thus  expresses  himself  :  "I 
charge  you  by  the  Lord  that  this  Epistle  be  read  to  all  the 
holy  brethren."  St.  Justin  Martyr  (second  century)  informs 
us  that  this  practice  was  general  in  his  time  (Apol.,  2) ;  and 
Tertullian  refers  to  it  also  (Apol.,  c.  39). 

In  many  of  the  churches  of  early  days  it  was  custom- 
ary to  read  first  a  lesson  from  the  Old  Testament,  and 
then  an  Epistle  from  the  ISTew,  in  order  to  show  that  both 
the  one  and  the  other  are  entitled  to  much  respect ;  and 
that  although  the  new  law  is  much  more  perfect  than  the 
old,  still  the  moral  teaching  of  the  latter  remains  yet  in  all 
its  vigor.  This  custom  is  yet  kept  up  in  the  Mozarabic 
and  Ambrosian  rites  ;  and  the  Carthusians  and  Domini- 
cans observe  it  on  Christmas  day  and  its  vigil.  A  vestige 
of  the  practice  may  be  seen  in  our  own  missal,  also,  in  the 
Masses  of  the  Quarter  Tenses — with  this  difference,  how- 
ever :  that  instead  of  one  lesson  several  are  read,  in  order  to 
show  the  aspirant  for  the  holy  ministry  the  necessity  he 
is  under  of  becoming  thoroughly  conversant  with  the  law 
and  the  prophets,  as  well  as  with  what  the  New  Testament 
contains ;  for  it  was  during  these  days  that  orders  were 
conferred  in  ancient  times,  and  even  according  to  the  pre- 
sent discipline  of  the  Church  they  are  yet  set  apart  for  this 
purpose  in  the  majority  of  places  in  Europe  (Gavantus, 
Thesaur.   Sacr.  Bit.,  p.  338).     The  Council  of    Laodicea, 

The  Epistle.  217 

held  in  the  fourth  century,  and  the  third  Council  of  Car- 
tnage  iorbade  the  reading  of  anything  in  the  Mass  which 
was  not  taken  from  Holy  Scripture.  An  exception,  how- 
ever, seems  to  have  been  made  in  some  cases,  for  we  see 
that  the  letters  of  the  Supreme  Pontiffs  and  the  Acts  of 
the  Martyrs,  also  the  letters  of  the  bishop  of  the  diocese,- 
used  to  be  read  very  frequently  (Martene,  De  Antiquis 
ficcl.  Ri/ibus). 

With  the  ancient  Hebrews,  the  Pentateuch,  or  Sepher 
Tor  a*  as  they  called  it,  was  held  in  such  high  estimation 
that  they  made  it  a  practice  to  read  as  much  of  it  on  every 
Sabbath  as  would  enable  them  to  finish  it  in  the  course 
of  a  year.  For  which  reason  they  divided  the  entire  five 
books  into  portions  called  parshizoth,  fifty-three  or  fifty-four 
in  number,  corresponding  with  the  entire  number  of  ser- 
vice days,  and  read  one  at  every  service.  The  Jews  of  to- 
day keep  up  this  custom  (Bannister,  Temples  of  the  He- 
brews, p.  351). 

It  is  universally  admitted,  we  believe,  that  the  series  and 
order  of  the  Epistles  read  to-day  in  the  Mass  were  drawn  up 
by  St.  Jerome  at  the  request  of  the  Sovereign  Pontiff  Pope 
Damasus  (Cardinal  Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  324).  They 
were  first  inserted  in  a  book  by  themselves,  called  by  St. 
Jerome  the  Companion,  but  when  plenary  missals  came  into 
use  the  Companion  was  superseded  by  them,  and  in  this 
way  it  lost  its  individuality. 

At  High  Mass  the  Epistle  is  chanted  by  the  subdeacon  in 
ft  loud  tone  of  voice,  with  only  one  modulation  at  the  con- 

•  We  deem  it  well  to  inform  the  reader  at  this  place  that  the  Hebrews  made  three 
great  divisions  of  the  entire  Bible,  which  they  denominated  respectively  Sepher  Tora, 
or  the  Book  of  the  Law — i.e.,  the  Pentateuch  ;  Nebiim,  or  the  Book  of  the  Prophets ; 
and  Ketobiim,  or  the  Sacred  Writings.  This  last  division  was  what  the  ancient  Fa- 
thers called  ffagiographa.  The  reading  of  the  Sepher  Tora  began  at  Nisan,  the  first 
month  of  the  Jewish  ecclesiastical  year,  and  continued  up  to  the  end  of  Adar,  tfr« 
last  month.    Much  display  attended  this  reading. 

218  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

elusion.  It  is  chanted  facing  the  altar  and  not  tne  congre- 
gation, as  is  the  case  when  the  Gospel  is  chanted,  because 
the  latter,  being  the  words  of  our  Lord,  is  entitled  to  more 
respect,  and,  besides,  it  is  principally  designed  for  the  in- 
s  true  lion  of  the  people.  The  custom  of  sitting  down  during 
the  reading  of  the  Epistle  is  very  ancient,  being  evidently 
derived  from  the  synagogue  and  early  Christians  (Eomsee, 
iv.  p.  103).  According  to  Durandus,  the  Epistle  is  read 
before  the  Gospel  on  account  of  its  symbolizing  the  mission 
of  St.  John  the  Baptist,  who  was  the  precursor  of  our  Lord 
(Rationale,  p.  183). 

Deo  Gratias. — At  the  conclusion  of  the  Epistle  the  server 
answers,  "  Deo  gratias  " — "  Thanks  be  to  God  " — as  an  evi- 
dence of  the  gratitude  we  owe  to  our  Creator  for  the  spiri- 
tual nourishment  of  his  sacred  words.  According  to  the 
Mozarabic  Rite,  this  response  is  made  as  soon  as  the  title 
of  the  Epistle  is  announced. 

In  ancient  times  the  expression  "Deo  gratias"  was  in 
very  common  use  among  the  faithful.  It  was,  in  fact,  one 
of  their  principal  forms  of  salutation  whenever  they  met, 
as  we  learn  from  St.  Augustine,  who  also  tells  us  that  the 
impious  Donatists  endeavored  to  turn  it  into  ridicule. 
When  the  proconsul  Galerius  Maximus  read  out  the 
decree,  "  Thasius  Cyprianus  shall  die  by  the  sword,"  the 
saintly  bishop  received  the  sentence  by  exclaiming,  "  Deo 
gratias  ! " 

Epistle  in  the  Eastern  Church. — The  practice  of  reading 
the  Epistle  in  the  Mass  is  also  observed  by  all  the  Oriental 
churches,  as  their  liturgies  show  us.  The  Copts  at  this 
place  read  five  different  portions  of  the  Sacred  Writings, 
each  of  which,  in  accordance  with  Oriental  usage,  they  de- 
nominate the  Apostle.  These  five  portions  are  taken  respec- 
tively from  the  Epistles  of  St.  Paul,  the  Catholic  Epistles, 
the  Acts  of  the  Apostles,   the  Psalter,  and    the  Evangels 

The  Epistle.  219 

(Renaudot,  Liturg.   Orient.,  i.  186).     Their  canons  are  so 

strict  in  this  matter  that,  were  a  priest  to  omit  any  of  these 
designedly,  he  would  subject  himself  to  excommunication  ; 
and  as  the  ancient  Coptic,  or  that  in  which  their  service  is 
carried  on,  is  entirely  unknown  among  the  people,  after  the 
Epistle  has  been  read  in  that  tongue,  it  is  again  read  in 
Arabic,  the  language  of  the  day  in  those  parts.  All  through 
the  East  the  Apostle — as  they  call  the  Epistle — is  listened  to 
and  read  with  a  very  great  amount  of  respect. 

The  Ambo. — Whenever  there  was  Solemn  High  Mass,  which 
was  the  case  nearly  always  in  the  early  Church,  the  Epistle 
used  to  be  chanted,  not  in  the  sanctuary  as  now,  but  from 
an  elevated  lectern  or  pulpit  known  as  the  Ambo,  from  the 
Greek  avaj3aivoj — anabaino,  I  ascend — placed  generally 
in  the  nave  of  the  church.  In  some  places  there  were  as 
many  as  three  appurtenances  of  this  kind  :  one  for  the  read- 
ing of  the  Epistle,  another  for  the  reading  of  the  Gospel, 
and  the  third  for  the  Prophecies.  Specimens  of  these  may 
yet  be  seen  in  that  ancient  church  at  Rome  known  as  St. 
Clement's.  Though  many  churches  possessed  two  of  these 
amboes,  one  set  apart  for  the  chanting  of  the  Epistle,  the 
other  for  the  chanting  of  the  Gospel,  still  the  general  rule 
was  to  make  one  ambo  serve  for  both  these  purposes ;  and 
we  find  but  one  employed  in  the  great  church  of  Holy 
Wisdom  at  Constantinople,  which  all  regarded  as  the  most 
perfect  temple  of  worship  then  in  existence. 

Material  of  which  the  Amboes  were  made. — The  material 
as  well  as  the  workmanship  of  the  amboes  varied,  of 
course,  according  to  the  means  of  the  church.  Some  were 
plain  and  made  wholly  of  wood,  while  others  were  formed 
of  the  costliest  materials.  That  in  the  Church  of  Holy 
Wisdom  was  constructed  of  pure  alabaster,  and  enriched 
with  columns  of  silver  and  gold  sparkling  with  gems 
(Neale,   Holy  Eastern    Church,   L   203).      The  celebrated 

220  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

ambo  of  the  ancient  Cathedral  of  Durham,  in  England, 
was  made  of  solid  brass,  and  so  beautifully  finished  was  it 
that  persons  came  from  afar  to  see  it.  It  is  described  in 
the  Ancient  Monuments  of  Durham  as  having  a  gilt  peli- 
can, feeding  its  young  with  blood  from  its  breast.  These 
annals  describe  it  as  the  "  goodlyest  letteron  of  brass  that 
was  in  all  the  countrye  "  ( Church  of  Our  Fathers,  Yol.  iii. 
191).  (The  reference  in  the  figure  of  the  pelican  is  to  a 
vision  had  by  St.  Gertrude,  where  our  Divine  Lord  ap- 
peared to  her  in  the  form  of  this  bird  with  his  Precious 
Blood  flowing  from  his  Sacred  Heart  for  the  nourishment 
of  mankind.  The  pelican  is  said  to  open  its  breast  with  its 
bill  when  all  other  means  of  feeding  its  young  fail,  and  keep 
them  from  utter  starvation  by  administering  its  life-blood 
for  their  food.)  Many  of  the  ancient  amboes  had  curioug 
figures  engraved  and  constructed  upon  them.  In  some  the 
Archangel  St.  Michael  with  the  last  trumpet  could  be  seen  ; 
in  others  a  huge  eagle  with  its  eyes  turned  aloft,  to  signify 
the  sublimity  of  the  Word  of  God.  This  was  generally  the 
device  used  in  the  Gospel  ambo. 

But  the  ambo  was  not  exclusively  used  for  the  Epistle 
and  Gospel.  Sermons  were  preached  from  it  sometimes, 
and  in  the  churches  of  Egypt  it  was  thence  that  the  an- 
nouncement regarding  the  time  of  Easter  and  the  other 
movable  feasts  was  made.  The  ambo  was  also  the  place 
where  the  diptychs  were  read ;  and  at  Constantinople  it 
was  there  that  the  emperors  were  generally  crowned  (Neale, 
Holy  Eastern  Church,  i.  205). 

Although  these  ancient  appurtenances  have  long  been 
discontinued,  traces  of  them  may  yet  be  seen  in  some  of  the 
European  churches,  particularly  in  those  of  Eome.  At 
Lyons,  too,  not  only  are  amboes  seen,  but  the  old  custom 
of  chanting  the  Epistle  and  Gospel  from  them  is  still 
strictly  observed. 

The  Gradual  Ml 


After  the  Epistle  comes  the  Gradual,  so  called  not,  as 
Borne  suppose,  from  the  steps  of  the  altar — for  it  was  never 
read  from  these — but  rather  from  the  steps  of  the  ambo, 
which  was  the  place  always  assigned  it.  The  Roman  Ordo 
is  very  explicit  on  this  point.  "  After  the  lesson  has  been 
finished,"  it  says,  "let  those  who  are  going  to  sing  the 
Gradual  and  Alleluia  stand  on  the  lower  step  by  the  pul- 
pit" (i.e.,  the  ambo).  The  remarks  of  Cassander  regarding 
this  are  to  the  same  effect.  "  The  responsory,"  says  he, 
"which  is  said  at  Mass  is  called,  in  contradistinction  to 
the  others,  the  Gradual,  because  this  is  sung  on  the  steps, 
the  others  wherever  the  clergy  please"  (Bona,  p.  325).  It 
is  called  a  responsory  from  the  fact  that  it  is  a  kind  of 
reply  to  the  Epistle,  after  which  it  is  sung  to  stir  up  the 
hearts  of  the  people  to  the  salutary  truths  the  latter  con- 
tains (Kozma,  p.  178). 

The  principal  literal  reason  for  introducing  singing  at 
this  place  was  to  keep  the  attention  of  the  people  from 
flagging  in  the  interval  that  elapsed  while  the  procession 
for  the  chanting  of  the  Gospel  was  forming  (ibid.,  and 
Romsee,  iv.  105). 

The  Gradual  is  made  up  of  two  verses  taken  from  the 
Psalms  or  some  other  part  of  Holy  Scripture,  followed  by 
an  Alleluia  repeated  twice,  to  which  is  added  another  verse 
with  one  Alleluia  at  the  end  of  it. 

Alleluia. — Alleluia  is  a  Hebrew  word  translated  generally 
by  "praise  the  Lord."  Its  precise  derivation  is  "allelu," 
to  praise  with  jubilation,  and  "  Jah,"  one  of  the  names  of 
the  Almighty.  This  sacred  word  was  held  in  so  much  es- 
teem by  the  early  Christians  that  it  was  only  pronounced 
on  very  solemn  occasions.  St.  Jerome  tells  us  in  his  twenty- 
seventh  Epistle  that  in  a  convent  founded  at  Jerusalem 
by  the  pious  St.  Paula  it  used  to  be  the  signal  for  assem- 

222  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

bling  all  the  nuns  to  their  exercises  of  devotion.  To  this  end 
it  used  to  be  chanted  along  the  corridors  several  times  in  a 
loud  tone  of  voice.7 

St.  Anselm,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury  from  1093  to  1109, 
held  a  strange  opinion  regarding  the  origin  of  this  word. 
According  to  him,  it  belonged  to  no  language  upon  earthy 
•and  could  not  be  properly  rendered  into  any  one,  but 
was  altogether  angelic  in  its  formation.  Cardinal  Bona, 
wondering  at  this  strange  deception,  humorously  writes 
(Divina  Psalmodia,  p.  511)  :  "  Omnis  homo  aliquid  hu- 
manum  patitur,  et  quandoque  bonus  dormitat  Homerus  " — 
that  is,  "Every  man  has  a  little  of  the  frailty  of  human 
nature  in  him  ;  even  the  good  Homer  sometimes  nods." 

During  the  penitential  seasons  and  on  occasions  of 
mourning  Alleluia  is  not  said,  according  to  the  Eoman  Eite, 
but  in  the  Mozarabic  it  is  always  said  even  in  Masses  for  the 
dead ;  and  this  is  the  rule,  too,  in  the  Greek  Church. 

The  Tract.— When  the  Alleluia  is  not  said,  what  is  known 
as  the  Tract  is  added  to  the  Gradual  in  its  place.  This 
Tract,  which  is  made  up  of  three  or  four  verses  taken  from 
the  Psalms — though  sometimes  the  entire  psalm  is  recited, 
as  on  Palm  Sunday  and  Good  Friday — derives  its  name  from 
the  Latin  trahere,  to  draw,  agreeably  to  which  liturgical 
writers  inform  us  that  in  ancient  times  it  used  to  be  drawn 
out  in  a  slow,  measured  tone  without  any  interruption  what- 
ever on  the  part  of  the  choir  (Eomsee,  iv.  105;  Durandus, 
Rationale,  book  iv.  chap,  xxi.) 

T  According  to  St.  Jerome,  Almighty  God  was  known  to  the  ancient  Hebrews  undel 
ten  different  names,  viz.  :  "El  "  or*' Al,"  the  Strong  One  •  "Eloah,"  the  Adorable  i 
"Adonai"  (plural  of  Adon),  the  Great  Lord,'  "  Tsabaoth,M  God  of  Hosts  j  "Jah,1'  the 
Ever- Living y  "Nghelion,"  the  Most  High;  "Etohim,"  Gods  (plural  form — suggestive, 
as  some  maintain,  of  the  Blessed  Trinity) ;  "  Havah,"  He  who  is/  "  Shaddai,"  the  AH 
Mighty ;  and  "  Jehovah,"  or  He  who  is,  was,  and  will  be.  This  last  name  the  Jews 
would  nev«r  pronounce,  out  of  the  great  respect  they  had  for  it,  but  would  always  us« 
Axlonai  ip  ts  stead. 

Sequences.  223 


On  particular  occasions  of  the  year  there  are  added  imme- 
diately after  the  Gradual  certain  rhythmical  pieces  of  com- 
position called  by  the  several  names  of  Proses,  Jubilations, 
and  Sequences.  They  are  denominated  Proses  because, 
though  written  like  verse,  yet  they  are  destitute  of  the  quali- 
fications that  are  looked  for  in  regular  metrical  composi- 
tions, for  they  are  formed  more  with  a  view  to  accent  than 
quantity — a  very  striking  characteristic  of  the  poetry  of  the 
early  ages  of  the  Christian  Church.  The  name  Jubilations 
was  given  them  from  their  having  been  for  the  most  part 
employed  on  occasions  of  great  solemnity  and  rejoicing; 
and  that  of  Sequences,  or  Sequels,  from  their  following  the 
Alleluia  (Bona,  p.  326).  Formerly  it  was  customary  to  pro- 
long the  singing  after  the  last  note  of  the  Alleluia  for 
quite  a  considerable  time,  without  using  any  words  what- 
ever, but  merely  the  notes  themselves.  This  was  what  re- 
ceived the  name  of  the  Pneuma,  or  breathing ;  and,  strictly 
speaking,  it  was  the  origin  of  what  we  now  call  Jubila- 
tions or  Sequences  (ibid.) 

For  a  considerable  time  every  Sunday  in  the  year,  except 
those  of  the  penitential  season,  had  a  Sequence  of  its  own, 
as  may  be  seen  from  any  ancient  missal,  and  the  rite  ob- 
served at  Lyons  keeps  up  this  custom  yet.  But  as  a  great 
deal  of  abuse  crept  in  on  account  of  having  to  use  such  a 
multiplicity  of  Sequences,  and  as  many  were  carelessly 
written,  the  Church  thought  it  well  to  subject  the  en- 
tire number  to  a  rigid  examination,  and  retain  only  those 
which  were  remarkable  for  their  rare  excellence.  The 
principal  step  in  this  matter  was  first  taken  by  the  Coun- 
cil of  Cologne,  held  in  a.d.  1536,  and  its  measures  were 
seconded  by  that  of  Eheims  in  1564 ;  so  that  of  the  entire 
number  which  obtained  in  the  Church  up  to  these  dates  five 
only  were  deemed  worthy  of  a  place  in  the  Mass,  viz.:  1, 

224  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

the  " Victimse  Paschali,"  proper  to  Easter;  2,  the  "Veni 
Sancte  Spiritus,"  proper  to  Pentecost ;  3,  the  "  Lauda  Sion," 
proper  to  Corpus  Christi ;  4,  the  "  Stabat  Mater/'  proper  to 
the  Feast  of  the  Seven  Dolors  of  B.V.M.  ;  5,  the  "  Dies  Irae," 
proper  to  Masses  for  the  dead.  In  addition  to  these  it  may 
be  well  to  add  that  which  the  Friars  Minor  were  allowed  to 
retain  on  the  Feast  of  the  Holy  Name  of  Jesus,  the  first 
lines  of  which  begin  thus  (Gavantus,  p.  355)  : 

"  Lauda,  Sion,  Saivatoris 
Jesu  Nomen  et  Amoris.'* 

Authors  of  the  Sequences. — Much  variety  of  opinion  exists 
regarding  the  authors  of  these  Sequences,  but,  as  we  are  un- 
able to  settle  the  question,  we  shall  simply  name  those  to 
vhom  they  have  teen  attributed  from  time  to  time. 

The  first,  or  the  "  Vidimce  Paschali"  is,  we  believe,  by 
the  vast  majority  of  critics  accredited  to  a  monk,  Notker  by 
name,  of  the  celebrated  monastery  of  St.  Gall,  in  Switzer- 
land, who  flourished  in  the  ninth  century,  and  attained  to 
much  renown  by  his  talent  for  writing  sacred  poetry.  Ac- 
cording to  some,  he  is  said  to  have  been  the  first  who  caused 
this  species  of  composition  to  be  introduced  into  the  Mass; 
and,  if  we  are  to  believe  Durandus,  he  was  t  couraged  in 
this  by  Pope  Nicholas  the  Great  (858-867).  Others  ascribe 
its  introduction  to  Alcuin,  the  preceptor  of  Charlemagne. 
The  "  Victimse  Paschali "  is  also  sometimes  attributed  to 
Robert,  King  of  the  Franks. 

"Veni,  Sonde  Spiritus." — This  beautiful  hymn  is  gene- 
rally accredited  to  the  Blessed  Hermann,  usually  styled  Con- 
tractus, or  the  Cripple,  from  the  deformity  of  his  limbs.  As 
the  early  history  of  this  remarkable  man  is  very  interesting, 
we  presume  that  the  reader  will  not  think  it  amiss  if  we 
give  a  brief  sketch  of  it,  as  it  bears  much  upon  our  subject : 
"Hermannus  Contractus,  the  son  of  Count  Weringen,  in 


Livonia,  was,  at  the  age  of  fourteen,  sent  to  the  monastery 
of  St.  G-all  to  be  educated.  He  was  lame  and  contracted  in 
body,  and  made  little  progress  in  learning  on  account  of  his 
slowness  of  mind.  Hilperic,  his  master,  seeing  how  bitterly 
he  bewailed  his  misfortunes,  pitied  him,  and  advised  him  to 
apply  himself  to  prayer,  and  to  implore  the  assistance  of  the 
Immaculate  Virgin,  Mother  of  God.  Hermannus  obeyed  his 
master,  and  about  two  years  after  thought  he  saw  the  holy 
Virgin  one  night  whilst  he  was  asleep,  and  that  she  thus  ad- 
dressed him  :  '  0  good  child  !  I  have  heard  your  prayers, 
and  at  your  request  have  come  to  assist  you.  Now,  there- 
fore, choose  whichever  of  these  two  things  you  please,  and 
you  shall  certainly  obtain  it :  either  to  have  your  body 
cured,  or  to  become  master  of  all  the  science  you  desire. ' 
Hermannus  did  not  hesitate  to  prefer  the  gifts  of  the  mind 
to  those  of  the  body,  and  such  from  this  period  was  his  pro- 
gress in  human  and  divine  science  that  he  was  esteemed 
the  most  learned  of  his  contemporaries.  He  excelled  them 
all  in  philosophy,  rhetoric,  astronomy,  poetry,  music,  and 
theology ;  composed  books  upon  geometry,  music,  and  as- 
tronomy, the  eclipses  of  the  sun  and  moon,  the  astrolabe, 
the  quadrant,  the  horologue,  and  quadrature  of  the  circle ; 
wrote  commentaries  on  Aristotle  and  Cicero ;  translated 
some  Greek  and  Arabic  works  into  Latin;  composed  a 
chronicle  from  the  creation  of  the  world  to  the  year  1052,  a 
treatise  on  physiognomy,  and  several  hymns,  amongst  which 
the  'Salve  Regina,'  'Alma  Redemptoris.'  and  fVeni,  Sancte 
Spiritus '  are  enumerated.  He  died  in  1054,  aged  forty-one 
years"  (Dublin  Review,  vol.  xxx.,  June,  1851;  Gavantus, 
ii.  p.  166).  The  "Veni,  Sancte  Spiritus"  is  also  ascribed 
to  Pope  Innocent  III.,  to  St.  Bonaventure,  and  to  Robert, 
King  of  the  Franks. 

"  Lauda  Sion." — All  are  unanimous  in  ascribing  this  to 
the  "  Angelic  Doctor,"  St.  Thomas  Aquinas,  who,  at  the  re- 

226  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

quest  of  Pope  Urban  IV.,  composed  it  for  the  solemnity  of 
Corpus  Christi,  of  which  we  have  already  spoken  at  length. 
"  fitabat  Mater." — A  good  deal  of  dispute  has  arisen 
regarding  the  author  of  this  sublime  production,  some  as- 
cribing it  to  Pope  Innocent  III.,  some  to  Jacoponi  (1306) — 
sometimes  called  Jacobus  de  Benedictis,  a  Franciscan  monk 
— and  others  to  St.  Bonaventure.  We  follow  the  majority, 
however,  in  ascribing  it  to  Pope  Innocent  III.  To  our 
mind  Jacoponi's  claims  to  this  hymn  are  not  very  strong ; 
and  if  there  were  no  other  reason  to  justify  our  opinion 
but  that  founded  on  his  hymn  for  Christmas  morning, 
beginning  with 

"  Stabat  Mater  speciosa 
Juxta  foenum  gaudiosa 
Dum  jacebat  parvulus," 

we  think  that  would  be  sufficient. 

"Dies  Ira." — The  authorship  of  the  "Dies  Irae"  seems 
the  most  difficult  to  settle.  This  much,  however,  is  certain  : 
that  he  who  has  the  strongest  claims  to  it  is  Latino  Orsini, 
generally  styled  Frangipani,  whom  his  maternal  uncle, 
Pope  Nicholas  III.  (Gaetano  Orsini),  raised  to  the  cardinal- 
ate  in  1278.  He  was  more  generally  known  by  the  name 
of  Cardinal  Malabranca,  and  was  at  first  a  member  of  the 
Order  of  St.  Dominic  (see  Dublin  Review,  vol.  xx.,  1846 ; 
Gavantus,  Thesaur.  Sacr.  Bit.,  p.  490). 

As  this  sacred  hymn  is  conceded  to  be  one  of  the  grandest 
that  has  ever  been  written,  it  is  but  natural  to  expect  that 
the  number  of  authors  claiming  it  would  be  very  large. 
Some  even  have  attributed  it  to  Pope  Gregory  the  Great, 
who  lived  as  far  back  as  the  year  604.  St.  Bernard,  too,  is 
mentioned  in  connection  with  it,  and  so  are  several  others ; 
but  as  it  is  hardly  necessary  to  mention  all,  we  shall  only 

Sequences,  22? 

say  that,  after  Cardinal  Orsini,  the  claims  to  it  on  the  part 
of  Thomas  de  Celano,  of  the  Order  of  Franciscans  Minor, 
are  the  greatest.  There  is  very  little  reason  for  attributing 
it  to  Father  Humbert,  the  fifth  general  of  the  Dominicans, 
in  1273  ;  and  hardly  any  at  all  for  accrediting  it  to  Augus 
tinus  de  Biella,  of  the  Order  of  Augustinian  Eremites.  A 
Very  widely  circulated  opinion  is  that  the  "  Dies  Irae"  as  it 
stands  now  is  but  an  improved  form  of  a  Sequence  which 
was  long  in  use  before  the  age  of  any  of  those  authors  whom 
we  have  cited.  Gavantus  gives  us,  at  page  490  of  his  The' 
saurus  of  Sacred  Bites,  a  few  stanzas  of  this  ancient  Se- 
quence, which  we  deem  well  to  place  before  the  reader  : 

"  Cum  recordor  moriturus, 
Quid  post  mortem  sim  futurus, 
Terror  terret  me  venturus, 
Quern  expecto  non  securus: 
Terret  dies  me  terroris. 
Dies  irae,  ac  furoris, 
Dies  luctus,  ac  mceroris, 
Dies  ultrix  peccatoris, 
Dies  irae,  dies  ilia,"  etc.,  etc. 

As  late  as  1576  the  "  Dies  Irse"  was  forbidden  to  be  said 
by  the  Dominicans  of  Salamanca,  in  Spain.  Maldonatus, 
also,  the  great  Jesuit  commentator,  objected  to  its  use  in 
Masses  for  the  dead,  for  the  reason  that  a  composition  of 
that  kind  was  unsuited  to  mournful  occasions.  Others,  too, 
made  similar  complaints  against  it.  To  repeat  what  learned 
critics  of  every  denomination  under  heaven  have  said  in 
praise  of  this  marvellous  hymn  would  indeed  be  a  difficult 
task.  One  of  its  greatest  encomiums  is  that  there  is  hardly 
a  language  in  Europe  into  which  it  has  not  been  translated  ; 
it  has  even  found  its  way  into  Greek  and  Hebrew — into 

228  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

the  former  through  an  English  missionary  of  Syria  named 
Hildner,  and  into  the  latter  by  Splieth,  a  celebrated  Orien- 
talist. Mozart  avowed  his  extreme  admiration  of  it,  and  so 
did  Dr.  Johnson,  Sir  Walter  Scott,  and  Jeremy  Taylor,  be- 
sides hosts  of  others.  The  encomium  passed  upon  it  by 
Schaff  is  thus  given  in  his  own  words  :  "  This  marvellous 
,hymn  is  the  acknowledged  masterpiece  of  Latin  poetry  and 
the  most  sublime  of  all  uninspired  hymns.  The  secret  of 
its  irresistible  power  lies  in  the  awful  grandeur  of  the 
theme,  the  intense  earnestness  and  pathos  of  the  poet,  the 
simple  majesty  and  solemn  music  of  its  language,  the  stately 
metre,  the  triple  rhyme,  and  the  vocal  assonances,  chosen  in 
striking  adaptation — all  combining  to  produce  an  over- 
whelming effect,  as  if  we  heard  the  final  crash  of  the 
universe,  the  commotion  of  the  opening  graves,  the  trumpet 
of  the  archangel  summoning  the  quick  and  the  dead,  and 
saw  the  King  of  ' tremendous  majesty'  seated  on  the  throne 
of  justice  and  mercy,  and  ready  to  dispense  everlasting  life 
or  everlasting  woe  "  (see  Latin  Hymns,  vol.  i.  p.  292,  by 
Professor  March,  of  Lafayette  College,  Pa.)  The  music 
of  this  hymn  formed  the  chief  part  of  the  fame  of  Mozart ; 
and  it  is  said,  and  not  without  reason,  that  it  contributed 
in  no  small  degree  to  hasten  his  death,  for  so  excited  did 
he  become  over  its  awe-enkindling  sentiments  while  writing 
his  celebrated  "  Mass  of  Requiem "  that  a  sort  of  minor 
paralysis  seized  his  whole  frame,  so  that  he  was  heard  to 
say  :  "  I  am  certain  that  I  am  writing  this  Requiem  for 
myself.  It  will  be  my  funeral  service."  He  never  lived 
to  finish  it ;  the  credit  of  having  done  that  belongs  to 
Sussmayer,  a  man  of  great  musical  attainments,  and  a  most 
intimate  friend  of  the  Mozart  family  (Dublin  Review,  vol. 
L,  May,  1836). 

The  allusion  to  the  sibyl  in  the  third  line  of   the  first 
stanza  has  given  rise  to  a  good  deal  of  anxious  enquiry ;  and 

Sequences,  229 

so  very  strange  did  it  sound  to  Frencn  ears  at  its  introduc- 
tion into  the  sacred  hymnology  of  the  Church  that  the 
Parisian  rituals  substituted  in  its  place  the  line  "  Orucis 
expandens  vexilla."  The  difficulty,  however,  is  easily  over- 
come if  we  bear  in  mind  that  many  of  the  early  Fathers 
held  that  Almighty  God  made  use  of  these  sibyls  to  promul- 
gate his  truths  in  just  the  same  way  as  he  did  of  Balaam  of 
old,  and  many  others  like  him.  The  great  St.  Augustine 
has  written  much  on  this  subject  in  his  City  of  God;  and 
the  reader  may  form  some  idea  of  the  estimation  in  which 
these  sibyls  were  held  when  he  is  told  that  the  world-re- 
nowned Michael  Angelo  made  them  the  subject  of  one  of  his 
greatest  paintings.  In  the  Sistine  Chapel  at  Rome  may 
yet  be  seen  his  celebrated  delineation  of  both  the  sibyl  of 
Erythrea  and  that  of  Delphi.  In  the  opinion  of  the  ablest 
critics  it  was  the  first-mentioned,  or  the  Erythrean  sibyl, 
that  uttered  the  celebrated  prediction  about  the  advent  of 
our  Divine  Lord,  and  his  final  coming  at  the  last  day  to 
judge  the  living  and  the  dead.  This  prediction,  it  is  said, 
was  given  in  verse,  and  written  as  an  acrostic  on  one  of  the 
ancient  designations  of  our  Divine  Lord  in  Greek — viz., 
ixOvZ,  ichthus,  a  fish,  referring  to  our  spiritual  regene- 
ration through  the  efficacy  of  the  saving  waters  of  holy 
Baptism  established  by  our  Saviour  for  our  sakes.  The 
letters  of  this  word  when  taken  separately  form  the  initials 
of  the  sacred  name  and  official  character  of  our  Divine  Lord, 
thus:  "I"  stands  for  Jesus ;  " X"  for  Christ;  "@"  for 
Theos,  or  God;  " T"  for  TioS,  or  Son;  and  "2"  for 
GGjTrip,  or  Saviour — that  is,  "  Jesus  Christ,  Son  of  God, 
the  Saviour."  The  part  of  the  sibyl's  response  which  re- 
ferred particularly  to  the  Day  of  Judgment  was  written 
on  the  letters  of  Soter,  or  Saviour.  It  is  given  as  follows 
in  the  translation  of  the  City  of  God  of  St.  Augustine 
(edited  by  Clarke,  of  Edinburgh,  1871): 

230  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

"  /Sounding,  the  archangel's  trumpet  shall  peal  down  from  heaven 
Over  the  wicked  who  groan  in  their  guilt  and  their  manifold  sorrows ; 
trembling,  the  earth  shall  be  opened,  revealing  chaos  and  hell. 
Jivery  king  before  God  shall  stand  on  that  day  to  be  judged; 
iftvers  of  fire  and  of  brimstone  shall  fall  from  the  heavens." 

There  are  in  all  twenty-seven  lines. 

The  "  Stabat  Mater,"  too,  deserves  more  than  a  mere  pass- 
ing notice,  for,  in  the  estimation  of  able  critics,  it  is  one  of 
the  most  pathetic  hymns  ever  written.  Hogarth  called  it 
"a  divine  emanation  of  an  afflicted  and  purified  spirit,"  and 
the  encomiums  lavished  upon  it  by  other  men  of  genius  are 
numberless.  As  far  as  concerns  its  musical  merits,  the  chief 
credit  is  due  to  Pergolesi  and  Rossini,  both  of  whom  im- 
mortalized themselves  in  their  rendition  of  it. 

The  precise  merits  of  the  "  Lauda  Sion  "  lie  in  this  :  that 
it  is  one  of  the  most  able  theological  exegeses  that  have  ever 
been  written  on  the  doctrine  of  the  Real  Presence.  Every 
possible  objection  that  could  be  raised  concerning  the 
Blessed  Sacrament  is  comprehended  in  it. 

Sequences  of  the  Oriental  Church. — By  way  of  compensat- 
ing for  the  entire  absence  of  all  instrumental  music  from  the 
service  of  the  Oriental  Church,  sacred  hymnology  is  made  to 
act  a  far  more  conspicuous  part  there  than  it  is  with  us. 
Not  a  Mass  is  celebrated  without  at  least  half  a  dozen  of 
Troparia,  as  they  are  called,  nearly  all  of  which  end  with  a 
doxology  in  honor  of  the  Mother  of  God,  to  whom,  as  we 
have  already  said,  the  Orientals  are  very  devout.  To  give 
the  reader  an  idea  of  the  intrinsic  beauty  of  some  of  the 
Oriental  Sequences,  we  copy  the  following,  inscribed  "for  a 
Sunday  of  the  First  Tone."  It,  of  course,  is  written  and 
sung  in  Greek,  and  the  work  from  which  we  copy  it 
(Hymns  of  the  Eastern  Church,  by  Rev.  Dr.  Neale)  ascribes 
it  to  St.  Anatolius,  a.d.  458.  It  refers  to  that  scene  on  the 
Sea  of  Galilee  where  the  disciples  are  out  in  a  boat  and  our 

"Munda  cor  meum"  231 

Lord  comes  to  them  walking  upon  the  waters  (Matthew 
xiv.) : 

"  Fierce  was  the  wild  billow, 

Dark  was  the  night ; 
Oars  labored  heavily, 

Foa-m  glimmeied  white 
Trembled  the  mariners, 

Peril  was  nigh  ; 
Then  said  the  God  of  God, 

1  Peace  !  it  is  V 

Eidge  of  the  mountain-wave. 

Lower  thy  crest ! 
Wail  of  Euroclydon, 

Be  thou  at  rest  I 
Sorrow  can  never  be, 

Darkness  must  fly, 
"Where  saith  the  Light  of  Light, 

'Peace  I  it  is  I.' 

Jesu,  Deliverer  I 

Come  thou  to  me 
Soothe  thou  my  voyaging 

Over  life's  sea  I 
Thou,  when  the  storm  of  death 

Roars  sweeping  by, 
Whisper,  0  Truth  of  Truth  t 

'Peace!  it  is  I.'" 


After  the  Epistle  and  the  responses  following  it  have  been 
read,  the  priest  goes  to  the  middle  of  the  altar,  and,  having 
bowed  profoundly,  recites  the  prayer  "  Munda  cor  meum," 
by  which  he  begs  of  God  to  purify  his  heart  and  lips,  as  he 
did  those  of  Isaias  of  old,  in  order  that  he  may  announce 
the  good  truths  of  the  Gospel  in  a  befitting  manner.  In 
the  meantime  the  missal  is  removed  by  the  server  from  the 

232  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

Epistle  to  the  Gospel  side,  and  so  placed  that  the  priest  maj 
be  a  little  turned  towards  the  congregation  while  reading 
it,  and  this  to  preserve  a  vestige  of  the  ancient  custom  oi 
reading  the  Holy  Evangel  from  the  ambo  in  the  hearing  and 
sight  of  all. 

The  literal  or  natural  meaning  of  removing  the  missal  at 
this  place  is  that  the  Epistle  corner  of  the  altar  may  be 
entirely  free  for  receiving  the  gifts  presented  and  placed 
there  by  the  people  at  the  Offertory,  and  to  make  room  for 
the  paten,  which  in  former  times  was  much  larger  than  it 
is  now  (Romsee,  iv.  107  ;  Kozma,  p.  182).  Mystically,  this 
ceremony  is  intended  to  remind  us  of  the  translation  of 
the  word  of  God  from  the  Jews,  represented  by  the  Epistle 
side,  to  the  Gentiles,  represented  by  the  Gospel  side,  in 
accordance  with  what  is  said  by  SS.  Paul  and  Barnabas  in 
the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  (xiii.  46)  :  "  To  you  it  behoved  u? 
first  to  speak  the  word  of  God  ;  but  because  you  reject  it, 
and  judge  yourselves  unworthy  of  eternal  life,  behold  we 
turn  to  the  Gentiles."  The  bringing  back  of  the  missal 
afterwards  denotes  the  final  return  of  the  Jews  to  Chris- 
tianity at  the  preaching  of  Enoch  and  Elias  (Durandus, 
Rationale,  p.  195). 

"We  have  said  that  the  Missal  is  placed  at  the  Gospel  side, 
a  little  turned  towards  the  congregation,  and  that  this  ia 
with  a  view  to  preserve  a  vestige  of  the  ancient  practice  of 
reading  the  Gospel  from  the  ambo.  As  it  may  be  objected 
that  the  Epistle,  too,  was  formerly  read  there,  and  why  not 
now  be  read  as  the  Gospel  is  ?  we  reply  by  saying  that 
whenever  the  Epistle  was  read  from  the  ambo  it  was 
always  from  an  inferior  stand  to  that  set  apart  for  the 
Gospel,  generally  from  the  steps  themselves,  and  always 
facing  the  altar  ;  for  it  was  not,  at  its  introduction  into  the 
Mass,  designed  so  much  for  the  instruction  of  the  people  as 
the  Gospel  was,  nor  did  it  ever  occupy  the  same  place  of 

Tlie  Gospel  233 

honor,  although  the  honor  shown  it  was  very  great  (Mar- 
tene,  De  Antiquis  Eccl  Ritibus,  f.  24). 


When  the  priest  has  arrived  at  the  missal  after  the  prayer 
"Munda  cor  meum,"  he  pronounces  in  an  audible  tone  the 
salutation,  "  Dominus  vobiscum,"  without,  however,  turn- 
ing to  the  people — for  he  is  partly  turned  already — and  then 
announces  the  title  of  the  Gospel  he  is  going  to  read.  To- 
gether with  doing  so  he  makes  the  sign  of  the  cross  vith  his 
thumb  on  the  missal  itself  at  the  beginning  of  the  Gospel, 
and  then  upon  himself  in  three  separate  places-  viz.,  on 
the  forehead,  mouth,  and  breast  respectively.  That  made 
upon  the  book  is  intended  to  teach  us  that  the  Holy  Gospel 
contains  the  words  of  Him  who  died  upon  the  cross  for  oui 
salvation;  that  made  upon  the  forehead  is  intended  to 
remind  us  that  we  must  never  be  ashamed  of  the  Word  of 
God,  for  our  Lord  himself  says  :  "  He  who  is  ashamed  of 
me  and  of  my  words,  of  him  shall  the  Son  of  Man  be 
ashamed  when  he  shall  come  in  his  majesty"  (Luke  ix.  26) ; 
and  the  cross  upon  the  breast  reminds  us  of  the  holy  ad- 
monition in  the  Canticle  of  Canticles  :  "  Put  me  as  a  seal 
upon  thy  heart "  (chap,  viii.)  (For  other  mystical  mean- 
ings see  Durandus,  p.  202.)  When  the  priest  has  announced 
the  title  of  the  Gospel,  the  server  answers  :  "  Gloria  tibi, 
Domine"— Glory  be  to  thee,  0  Lord— and  the  congregation 
sign  themselves  after  the  manner  of  the  priest.  The  re- 
sponse, "  Glory  be  to  thee,  0  Lord,"  is  made  to  thank  God 
for  the  spiritual  blessings  contained  in  the  holy  Gospel. 
The  Acts  of  the  Apostles,  chap.  xiii.  48,  tell  us  how  the 
Gentiles  glorified  the  word  of  God,  and  expressed  their 
heartfelt  thanks  to  SS.  Paul  and  Barnabas  for  having 
brought  them  the  salutary  truths  which  the  Jews  rejected. 

Standing  up  at  the  Gospel.— At  the  reading  of  the  Holy 

234  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

Gospel  all  stand  up  out  of  respect  for  the  sacred  words  of 
our  Divine  Lord,  as  well  as  to  testify  their  readiness  to  fol- 
low out  all  that  the  Gospel  teaches.  This  custom  is  very 
ancient,  as  we  find  the  Jews  observed  it  when  Esdras  the 
Scribe  read  them  the  Law  after  the  return  from  the  Baby* 
Ionian  captivity  (2  Esdras,  viii.  4).  When  the  custom  was 
in  vogue  of  bringing  staves  to  church  for  the  purpose  of 
leaning  on  them  during  certain  parts  of  the  service,  their 
use  was  never  permitted  during  the  reading  of  the  Holy 
Gospel.  They  were  at  that  time  to  be  put  aside,  and  with 
them  all  insignia  of  royalty,  such  as  sceptres,  crowns,  and 
things  of  that  sort,  in  order  that  all  might  appear  in  the 
humble  posture  of  servants  before  the  Lord  (Bona,  p.  328  ; 
Romsee,  p.  114).  Certain  military  knights,  and  among 
others  the  Knights  of  St.  John,8  were  accustomed  to  un- 
sheath  their  swords  at  this  place,  as  evidence  of  their  readi- 
ness to  defend  the  interests  of  the  sacred  words  even  unto 
the  shedding  of  blood  (Bona,  ibid.) 

When  the  priest  has  finished  reading  the  Gospel  he  kisses 
the  sacred  text  out  of  reverence  for  the  words  of  our  Lord — 
for  the  Gospel  is  pre-eminently  "  Christ's  Book,"  as  it  used 
to  be  styled  in  ancient  times — and  as  he  performs  this  act  he 
says  :  "  In  virtue  of  the  evangelical  words  may  our  sins  be 
blotted  out."  The  Carthusians  kiss  the  margin  of  the  mis- 
sal instead  of  the  text  itself.     Should  some  great  dignitary 

8  The  Knights  of  St.  John,  established  first  at  Jerusalem  about  the  year  1098,  wens 
also  known  by  the  several  names  of  Hospitalers,  from  the  fact  that  their  first  house 
was  a  hospital  specially  built  for  the  care  of  the  sick  ;  Knights  of  Rhodes,  from  their 
temporary  residence  in  that  island  ;  and  Knights  of  Malta,  from  their  last  stronghold 
at  Malta,  in  the  Mediterranean  Sea.  They  exist  no  longer  as  a  distinctive  military 
body,  but  several  yet  bearing  the  name,  and  observing  to  a  great  extent  their  original 
vows  of  poverty,  chastity,  and  obedience,  may  be  met  with  throughout  Italy,  England, 
and  other  parts  of  Europe,  and  their  honorary  grand-master  has  a  right  to  the  high 
title  of  "  Most  Eminent."  Their  patron  saint  is  St.  John  the  Baptist ;  and  their  badge 
a  white  cross,  with  eight  points  in  it,  in  memory  of  the  eight  beatitudes  (see  Lives 
Of  the  Saint*,  vol.  i.  571,  note ;  Ferraris.  Bibliotheca  :  Knights  of  Malta,  bp  Taafle), 

The  Gospel  235 

be  present  in  the  sanctuary,  it  is  the  rule  to  present  him  the 
book  first,  in  which  case  the  priest  celebrating  would  not 
kiss  it  at  all.  In  ancient  times  not  only  did  the  priest  kiss 
the  book  at  this  stage  of  the  Mass,  but  every  member  of  the 
congregation  did  so  (Bona,  p.  329).  In  the  Sarum  Eite  a 
special  codex  was  set  apart  for  this  purpose  (  Church  of  Our 
Fathers,  iii.  192).  The  custom  of  kissing  documents  of  im- 
portance is  very  ancient,  and  prevails  yet  in  the  majority  of 
royal  courts,  especially  in  those  of  the  East.  Those  that 
come  direct  from  our  Holy  Father  the  Pope  are  always 
shown  this  mark  of  respect ;  and  that  the  pious  practice  of 
kissing  not  only  the  book  of  the  Gospels,  but  almost  every 
utensil  in  the  house  of  God,  even  the  very  door-posts 
and  pillars,  was  generally  observed  by  the  primitive  Chris- 
tians we  learn  from  numerous  sources  (Riddle,  Christian 
Antiquities,  p.  739  ;  Life  of  Cardinal  Ximenes,  by  Hefele, 
p.  37). 

At  the  conclusion  of  the  Gospel  the  server  answers,  "  Laus 
tibi,  Christe"— "  Praise  be  to  thee,  0  Christ  !  "—but  in  the 
Mozarabic  Rite  the  old  custom  of  answering  "Amen"  at 
this  place  is  yet  kept  up  (see  Liturgia  Mozarabica,  ed. 
Migne).  Another  ancient  custom — viz.,  that  of  making 
the  sign  of  the  cross  here — is  still  retained  by  the  Carmel- 

At  Solemn  High  Mass. — At  Solemn  High  Mass,  where  the 
Gospel  is  chanted  in  a  loud  tone  of  voice,  the  ceremonies 
are  imposing  and  full  of  deep  meaning :  As  soon  as  the 
celebrant  has  passed  from  the  middle  of  the  altar,  after  the 
"  Munda  cor  meum,"  to  the  Gospel  side,  the  deacon  receives 
from  the  master  of  ceremonies  the  book  of  the  Holy  Evan- 
gels, which  he  carries  to  the  altar  with  much  reverence,  and 
places  in  front  of  the  tabernacle  in  a  horizontal  position. 
He  does  not  return  immediately,  but  remains  there  to  assist 
the  celebrant  at  the  blessing  of  the  incense  for  the  forth- 

236  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

coming  procession.  The  incense  having  been  put  in  the 
censer  and  blessed,  the  deacon  descends  one  step  and  recites 
the  prayer  "  Munda  cor  meum,"  at  the  conclusion  of  which 
he  rises  from  his  knees,  and,  having  taken  the  book  from 
the  altar,  kneels  down  with  it  before  the  celebrant  and  asks 
the  latter  to  bless  him.  Having  received  the  blessing,  he 
kisses  the  celebrant's  hand,  and  then  descends  to  the  floor, 
where  he  awaits  the  signal  for  the  procession  to  move  to  that 
part  of  the  Gospel  side  of  the  sanctuary  where  the  Holy 
Evangel  is  chanted.  A  full  corps  of  acolytes  with  lighted 
candles,  incense,  etc.,  head  the  procession,  and  the  deacon, 
walking  immediately  behind  the  subdeacon,  moves  in  a  slow 
and  dignified  manner,  carrying  the  sacred  codex  elevated 
before  his  face.  This  is  afterwards  given  to  the  subdeacon, 
who  holds  it  resting  against  his  forehead  during  the  entire 
time  of  chanting.  Havkig  given  the  usual  salutation  of 
"  Dominu8  vobiscum,"  and  announced  the  title  of  the  Gos- 
pel, the  deacon  receives  the  thurible,  or  censer,  and  incenses 
the  book  in  three  different  places — viz.,  in  the  centre,  at  the 
right,  and  at  the  left.  He  then  chants  the  text  in  a  loud 
tone  of  voice,  and,  having  finished,  receives  the  censer  again 
and  incenses  the  celebrant  at  the  altar,  who  stood  facing  the 
Gospel  the  whole  time  that  the  deacon  was  chanting  it. 

Explanation. — The  taking  of  the  book  of  the  Gospels 
from  the  altar  is  intended  to  remind  us,  according  to  Pope 
Innocent  III.,  that  the  law  has  come  forth  from  Sion,  and 
the  word  of  the  Lord  from  Jerusalem  ;  not  so  much  the  law 
of  Moses,  but  the  law  of  the  New  Covenant,  of  which  the 
prophet  Jeremias  wrote:  "Behold  the  days  shall  come," 
saith  the  Lord,  "  and  I  will  make  a  New  Covenant  with 
the  house  of  Israel,  and  with  the  house  of  Juda.  ...  I 
will  give  my  law  in  their  bowels,  and  I  will  write  it  in  their 
heart,  and  I  will  be  their  God,  and  they  shall  be  my  people  | 
(chap,   xxxi.)     The   deacon,  kneeling  at  the  feet  of   th« 

The  Gospel  237 

priest  in  the  manner  of  an  humble  suppliant  to  receive  his 
blessing,  teaches  us  the  necessity  of  first  asking  permission 
to  preach  the  Gospel,  and  then  a  blessing  for  the  sacred  work 
in  order  that  it  may  produce  the  proper  fruit.  To  take 
upon  ourselves  the  heavy  onus  of  preaching  without  having 
been  divinely  called  to  that  sacred  office  would  be  to  incur 
God's  wrath,  and,  instead  of  a  blessing,  draw  down  his  con- 
demnation. The  Apostle  St.  Paul  lays  particular  stress  upon 
the  necessity  of  receiving  a  special  call  to  discharge  this 
duty  (Romans,  chap,  x.)  Then,  again,  this  taking  of  the  ?v 
book  from  the  altar  and  reading  it  aloud  in  the  hearing 
of  the  people  forcibly  recalls  to  mind  what  Moses  did  of  old 
on  Sinai,  whence  he  brought  down  the  tables  of  the  law  and 
read  them  before  the  chosen  people  at  the  mountain's  edge. 
The  subdeacon  goes  before  the  deacon  to  the  place  where  the 
Gospel  is  chanted  to  remind  us  that  John  the  Baptist,  whose 
ministry  the  Epistle,  and  consequently  the  subdeacon,  typi- 
fies, went  before  our  Lord,  who  is  represented  by  the  Gospel 
(Durandus,  p.  199).  Incense  is  used  on  this  occasion  to 
commemorate  what  St.  Paul  says  (2  Cor.  ii.),  that  we  are 
the  good  odor  of  Christ  unto  God  in  every  place.  Antf 
lighted  candles  are  employed  to  testify  our  joy  at  receiving 
the  glad  Gospel  tidings,  as  well  as  to  show  our  respect  for 
Him  who  is  the  " Light  of  the  World"  (Innocent  III., 
Sacrif.  Miss.,  p.  141).  Finally,  the  Gospel  is  chanted  at  the 
corner  of  the  sanctuary,  with  the  sacred  text  facing  the 
north,  to  show  that  the  preaching  of  our  Lord  was  specially 
directed  against  Lucifer,  who  said,  "I  will  establish  my  seat 
in  the  north,  and  will  be  like  the  Most  High"  (Isaias ; 
ibid.)  When,  according  to  the  ancient  discipline,  the  Gos- 
pel was  chanted  from  those  elevated  pulpits  called  amboes, 
it  was  in  remembrance  of  that  sacred  admonition  of  our 
Lord  to  his  disciples  when  he  charged  them  regarding  the 
ministry  of  the  word.     "That  which  I  tell  you  in  the 

238  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

dark,"  said  he,  "  speak  ye  in  the  light ;  and  that  which  you 
hear  in  the  ear,  preach  ye  on  the  housetops  "  {Matthew  x.  ; 
Durandus,  Rationale,  p.  200).  The  last-named  author  speaks 
of  the  custom  that  prevailed  in  his  day  (thirteenth  century) 
of  chanting  the  Gospel  from  the  eagle,  referring  to  the  ap- 
purtenance in  the  shape  of  this  bird  that  used  to  be  em- 
ployed in  the  embellishment  of  the  ancient  book-stands, 
and  this  with  a  view  to  the  fulfilment  of  the  words,  "  He 
flew  upon  the  wings  of  the  wind"  (Ps.  xvii.) ;  for  the  wings 
of  the  eagle  are  aptly  compared  to  the  wings  of  the  wind,  as 
that  bird  can  ^y  highest  of  all  the  feathered  race,  and  the 
Gospel  is  the  highest  of  all  the  inspired  writings.  For 
many  other  interesting  facts  about  what  we  have  been 
speaking  the  reader  is  referred  to  Durandus,  chap,  xxiv., 
Rationale  Divinorum. 

Respect  shown  to  the  Gospels  in  Ancient  Times. — The  re- 
Bpect  shown  to  the  Gospels  in  ancient  times  is  evinced  from 
the  fact  that  the  sacred  codex  used  to  be  bound  in  massive 
covers  of  gold,  silver,  and  precious  stones,  as  we  learn  from 
many  sources.  The  cases,  too,  in  which  the  sacred  volumes 
used  to  be  enclosed  when  not  in  use,  were  made  of  the  cost- 
liest materials,  often  of  beaten  gold,  and  the  most  exquisite 
workmanship  was  displayed  in  finishing  them  (Kozma,  p. 
105).  Dr.  Eock  (Church  of  Our  Fathers,  iii.  31)  tells  us 
that  sheets  of  gold,  studded  with  large  pearls  and  precious 
stones,  were  not  thought  too  good  to  be  the  binding  of  these 
books,  and  that  their  printing  used  to  be  often  in  letters 
of  gold  upon  a  purple  ground.  At  all  great  ecclesiastical 
meetings  the  holy  Gospels  were  assigned  a  very  conspicu- 
ous position.  At  the  General  Council  of  Ephesus,  held  in 
the  Church  of  St.  Mary  in  that  city  a.d.  431,  the  book  of 
the  Gospels  was  placed  upon  an  elevated  throne  in  view  of 
all  the  assembled  Fathers  (Bona,  p.  329).  At  a  Solemn 
High  Mass  celebrated  by  the  Pope  the  Epistle  and  Gospel 

The  Gosper  239 

are  first  chanted  in  Latin,  then  in  Greek,  to  express  the 
union  of  the  two  churches  (Kozma,  p.  183). 

The  Gospel  in  the  Oriental  Church. — The  ceremonies  at- 
tending the  reading  of  the  Gospel  in  the  East  resemble  our 
own  very  closely.  In  the  Liturgy  of  St.  Chrysostom  the 
deacon,  kneeling  down  at  the  feet  of  the  celebrant  before 
the  procession  moves,  asks  the  customary  blessing  in  these 
words  :  "  Sir,  bless  the  preacher  of  the  holy  Apostle  and 
Evangelist  N."  (here  the  name  of  the  Gospel  is  mentioned) ; 
then  the  priest,  making  the  sign  of  the  cross  upon  him, 
says  :  "  May  God,  through  the  preaching  of  the  holy  and 
glorious  Apostle  and  Evangelist  N.,  give  the  word  with 
much  power  to  thee,  who  evangelizest  to  the  accomplishment 
of  the  Gospel  of  his  beloved  Son,  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ. " 
After  this  the  procession  moves  to  the  ambo,  and  everything 
goes  on  much  in  the  same  way  as  with  ourselves  at  Solemn 
High  Mass.  With  the  Abyssinians,  the  deacon  makes  a  cir- 
cuit of  the  entire  church  at  this  place,  saying  with  a  loud 
voice  as  he  goes  along :  "  Arise  !  hear  the  Gospel  and  the 
good  tidings  of  our  Lord  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ."  This 
circuit  is  intended  to  signify  the  promulgation  of  the  Gos- 
pel by  the  Apostles  throughout  the  entire  globe,  in  accord- 
ance with  the  sacred  text,  "Their  sound  has  gone  forth 
into  every  land,  and  their  words  unto  the  end  of  the  world  " 
(Ps.  xviii.  5). 

The  Copts,  instead  of  making  the  circuit  of  the  church  in 
this  way,  go  around  the  altar  in  a  procession,  headed  by  an 
immense  number  of  acolytes  and  other  ministers  bearing 
torches  and  incense.  The  display  is  very  imposing.  x\fter 
the  Gospel  has  been  chanted  it  is  first  kissed  by  the  clergy, 
it  is  then  covered  with  a  silken  veil  and  presented  to  be 
kissed  by  the  people  (Renaudot,  Liturg.  Orient.,  i.  190).  It 
is  customary  also  with  the  Coptic  prelates,  should  any  be 
present,  to  put  aside  their  mitres  and  crosiers  at  this  time, 

240  The   Celebration  of  Mass. 

and  remain  slightly  bowed  down  during  the  entire  chant- 

The  Greek  bishops,  besides   rising  up  to  hear  the  holy 
Evangel,  also  put  aside  their  omophorion,9  testifying  there- 
by, according  to  St.  Simeon  of  Thessalonica,  their  total  sub- 
3ction  to  the  Lord  (Goar,  Euchol.  Grcec,  p.  223). 

9  The  omophorion  of  the  Greeks  serves  the  same  end  as  our  pallium,  only  that  it  is 
common  to  every  bishop,  instead  of  being  restricted  to  archbishops,  as  with  us.  Like 
the  pallium  it  is  made  of  wool,  but  is  much  broader,  and,  instead  of  hanging  down 
freely,  is  fastened  round  the  neck  in  a  knot.  It  is  usually  ornamented  with  silver  and 
silken  threads,  and  symbolizes  the  "  Lost  Sheep  "  (Neale,  Holy  Eastern  Church,  i.  312 ; 
Komanoff,  Greco- Russian  Church,  p.  400). 



According  to  the  present  discipline  of  the  Church,  regu- 
lated in  a  great  measure  by  the  General  Council  of  Trent,  it 
is  required  that  at  every  parochial  Mass  on  Sundays  and 
holydays  of  obligation  a  sermon  touching  the  great  truths 
of  our  holy  faith  should  be  preached  to  the  people.  To  do 
this  the  more  effectually  it  is  recommended  to  follow  the 
line  of  thought  expressed  in  the  Gospel  of  the  day,  as  it  is 
the  wish  of  the  Church  that  this  portion  of  the  sacred 
writings  should  be  carefully  expounded  and  developed  in  all 
its  bearing. 

The  custom  of  thus  preaching  at  Mass  is  of  the  highest 
antiquity,  the  ablest  critics  maintaining  that  it  is  of  aposto- 
lic origin  ;  and  the  Holy  Scriptures  themselves  would  seem 
to  warrant  this  assertion.  St.  Justin  Martyr  (a.d.  167)  tells 
us  in  his  Apology,  i.  67,  that  it  was  the  practice  in  his 
day  to  read  portions  of  the  Sacred  Scriptures  first  in  the 
assemblies  of  the  people,  and  then  explain  their  application 
and  meaning  afterwards.  The  ancient  Hebrews  always 
preached  to  the  people  after  the  reading  of  the  Sepher  Tora9 
or  book  of  the  Law  (Bannister,  Temples  of  the  Hebrews, 
p.  351). 


Whenever  the  bishop  presided,  as  used  to  be  the  case  in 
nearly  all  the  cathedral  churches,  the  duty  of  preaching 


242  The  Sermon. 

devolved  upon  him.  This  duty  was,  indeed,  regarded  in 
early  times  as  so  peculiar  to  a  bishop  that  whenever  a  priest 
addressed  the  people  in  any  public  church  it  was  looked 
upon  as  a  sort  of  great  concession  and  favor.  "Episcopi 
proprium  munus,"  says  St.  Ambrose  (De  Off.  Sac,  lib.  i. 
c.  i.),  "  docere  populum" — "It  is  the  peculiar  office  of  the 
Jbishop  to  teach  the  people "  ;  and  St.  Chrysostom,  com- 
menting on  this  faculty,  says  that  the  bishop  who  does  not 
possess  it  should  be  deposed  from  his  office  (Rom.  x.  in  I. 
Ep.  ad  Tim.) 

During  the  prevalence  of  the  early  heresies,  the  greatest 
care  was  taken  to  see  that  no  one  should  ascend  the  pulpit 
unless  he  possessed  the  rarest  qualities  as  a  preacher  and 
theologian.  This  was  especially  the  case  when  the  heresy  of 
Arius  broke  out.  So  dangerous  was  this  considered  to  be 
that  it  was  thought  well  all  through  the  East  to  confine 
preaching  solely  to  bishops,  and  forbid  priests  under  severe 
penalties  to  take  upon  themselves  this  task.  The  Council  of 
Chalcedon  (a.d.  451),  as  is  well  known,  interdicted  preach- 
ing to  monks,  on  account  of  the  fall  of  Eutyches,  one  of  the 
heads  of  this  body  (Comment,  in  Pontif.  Bomanum,  Cata- 
lani ;  Muhlbauer,  i.  133). 


Although  the  ancient  Fathers  were  very  strict  on  the  sub- 
ject of  preaching,  and  always  insisted  on  having  it  entrusted 
to  men  of  tried  ability  and  worth  among  the  higher  grades 
of  the  hierarchy,  still  we  find  a  little  relaxation  of  this  rigor 
in  certain  rare  cases ;  for  not  only  did  members  of  the  in- 
ferior orders  of  the  clergy  discharge  this  duty,  but  even 
those  who  were  not  ranked  among  the  clergy  at  all.  The 
celebrated  Origen,  as  we  learn  from  Eusebius,  preached  fre- 
quently in  Jerusalem  while  yet  a  layman  ;  and  we  are  assured 
by  the  same  author  that  this  permission  was  also  granted  013 

Posture  of  the  Preacher*  243 

certain  occasions  to  Constantine  the  Great  (De  Vita  Const., 
lib.  iv.  c.  xxix.-xxxiv.) 


The  behavior  of  the  people  during  the  sermon  was  nearly 
always  of  the  most  edifying  kind.  Sometimes  a  little  inat- 
tention or  carelessness  would  be  observed  in  some,  while 
others  in  rare  instances  might  be  seen  engaged  in  frivolous 
conversation.  Whenever  this  was  noticed  it  was  the  duty 
of  the  deacon  to  stand  up  in  the  sanctuary  and  call  for  at- 
tention and  order  by  exclaiming:  "Silentium  habete  !" — 
"  Keep  silence."  St.  Ambrose  had  frequent  occasion  to  give 
this  order  at  Milan,  and  many  bitter  complaints  did  he  make 
of  the  people  of  that  city  for  their  want  of  propriety  in  this 


As  a  general  rule,  the  preacher  stood  while  delivering  his 
sermon,  and  this  generally  in*  the  sanctuary.  The  custom 
of  preaching  from  the  ambo,  where  the  Gospel  used  to  be 
read,  is  said  to  have  been  introduced  by  St.  John  Chrysos- 
tom  (Socrates,  Hist,  Eccles.,  lib.  vi.  c.  v.;  Sozomen,  Hist. 
EccL,  viii.  v.)  "When,  through  feebleness  of  health  or  other 
causes,  the  preacher  could  not  stand,  he  was  allowed  to  sift 
upon  a  chair.  This  practice  was  often  resorted  to  by  St. 
Augustine  in  his  declining  years,  and  many  of  the  early  Fa- 
thers rather  favored  it,  even  when  there  was  no  special  need 
of  having  recourse  to  it,  in  memory  of  our  Lord's  Sermon  on 
the  Mount.  Bishops  of  the  present  day  observe  this  prac- 
tice yet  in  many  places.  But,  whether  the  preacher  stood 
or  sat,  the  general  rule  was,  as  we  learn  from  St.  Gregory 
Nazianzen,  Eusebius,  and  St.  Chrysostom,  that  the  people  of 
the  congregation  should  stand.  Whenever  the  preacher 
said  anything  that  deserved  special  approbation  slight  indi- 

244  Tlie  Sermon. 

cations  of  appreciation  used  to  be  manifested,  such  as  bow- 
ing the  head,  making  gestures  with  the  hands,  sometimes 
even  clapping  the  hands  or  waving  the  garments.  The 
people  were  so  carried  away  upon  one  occasion  by  the  gol- 
den eloquence  of  St.  Chrysostom  that  they  cried  out  with 
one  acclaim  :  "  Thou  art  worthy  of  the  priesthood  ;  thou 
art  the  thirteenth  apostle  ;  Christ  hath  sent  thee  to  save 
our  souls  "  (Riddle,  Christian  Antiquities,  p.  455). 

The  custom  of  offering  up  a  short  prayer  before  the  ser- 
mon was  observed  by  the  early  Fathers.  Sometimes  this 
was  nothing  more  than  an  ejaculation  or  a  salutation  to 
the  people,  under  such  forms  as  "Peace  be  to  you,"  "May 
God  bless  you,"  "  The  Lord  be  with  you  "  (ibid.)  The  cus- 
tom now  in  vogue  in  many  countries,  especially  in  France, 
of  saying  a  "Hail  Mary,"  or  some  other  prayer  to  Our 
Blessed  Lady,  was  introduced  by  St.  Vincent  Ferrer  in  the 
fifteenth  century  as  a  protest  against  the  indignities  of- 
fered the  Mother  of  God  by  the  heretics  of  that  time  (see 
Manahan's  Triumph  of  the  Catholic  Church). 

Regarding  the  delivery  of  the  sermon  the  ancient  Fathers 
were  very  exact.  Earnestness  on  the  part  of  the  preacher 
and  sympathy  with  his  people  were  looked  upon  as  the  great 
redeeming  features  of  every  discourse.  Too  much  gesticula- 
tion was  always  severely  reprehended  ;  and  if  the  preacher 
manifested  any  signs  of  levity  in  the  pulpit,  or  indulged  in 
any  actions  which  were  not  considered  entirely  in  keeping 
with  the  dignity  of  the  place  and  occasion,  he  was  at  once 
commanded  to  desist,  and  silence  was  imposed  upon  him 
ever  afterwards.  It  is  said  of  the  heretic  Paul  of  Samosata 
that  he  carried  gesticulation  so  far  as  to  stamp  the  pulpit 
with  his  feet,  beat  his  thighs  with  his  bands,  and  act  while 
preaching  in  a  most  unbecoming  manner,  for  which  reason 
the  Council  of  Antioch,  in  a.d.  272,  bitterly  complained  of 
him  to  Pope  Dionysius,  the  reigning  pontifE, 

Influence  of  the  Discipline  of  the  Secret  on  Preaching.  245 


We  wish  here  to  call  the  particular  attention  of  the  reader 
to  a  fact  which  is  too  often  lost  sight  of  in  treating  of  the 
customs  of  the  early  Church.  We  refer  to  the  Disciplina 
Arcani,  as  it  was  called,  or  the  Discipline  of  the  Secret,  in 
virtue  of  which  the  principal  mysteries  of  our  holy  faith  and 
the  nature  of  many  of  the  public  prayers  of  the  Church  were 
carefully  concealed  from  all  who  were  not  considered  as  be- 
longing to  the  household  of  faith,  and  this  with  a  view  to 
follow  out  to  the  letter  that  sacred  admonition  of  our  Divine 
Lord  himself,  viz.:  not  to  "cast  pearls  before  swine  or 
give  what  was  holy  to  dogs."  "The  mysteries,"  says  St. 
Athanasius,  "  ought  not  to  be  publicly  exhibited  to  the  un- 
initiated, lest  the  Gentiles,  who  understand  them  not,  scoff 
at  them,  and  the  catechumens,  becoming  curious,  be  scan- 
dalized" (Apol.  contra  Arian.,  p.  105). 

The  caution  which  was  to  be  observed  during  the  preva- 
lence of  this  discipline — which,  as  we  have  said  in  another 
place,  lasted  during  the  first  five  centuries — influenced  the 
preachers  of  those  days  very  considerably,  from  the  fact 
that  their  audiences  were  often  made  up  of  Jews,  Gentiles, 
pagans,  and  others  who  were  wholly  ignorant  of  the  nature 
of  our  belief,  and  who  would,  had  they  but  understood 
it  in  all  its  bearings,  have  made  it  a  pretext  for  inciting 
fresh  persecution.  This  accounts  for  the  thick  veil  of  mys- 
tification that  hung  over  many  of  the  sermons  of  the  early 
Fathers,  and  for  the  abruptness  with  which  several  of  them 
ended.  Many  a  time  did  St.  Chrysostom  break  off  his 
discourse  with  some  such  expression  as  this  :  "  The  initiated 
know  what  I  mean."  This  he  would  do  if  he  saw  any  per- 
sons in  the  audience  who  did  not  belong  to  the  faithful.  "  I 
wish  to  speak  openly,"  said  he  upon  a  certain  occasion  while 
addressing  his  flock,  "but  I  dare  not  on  account  of  those 

246  The  Sermon. 

who  are  not  initiated.  These  persons  render  explanation 
more  difficult  by  obliging  us  to  speak  in  obscure  terms  or  to 
unveil  the  things  that  are  secret  ;  yet  I  shall  endeavor,  as 
far  as  possible,  to  explain  myself  in  disguised  terms  "  {Horn, 
xL  in  I.  Corinth.)  Tertullian,  who  lived  in  the  second 
century  under  the  Emperors  Severus  and  Caracalla,  says 
upon  this  subject:  "The  profane  are  excluded  from  the 
sight  of  the  most  holy  mysteries,  and  those  are  carefully 
selected  who  are  permitted  to  be  spectators"  {Apol.  adver- 
sus  Gentes). 

The  extreme  reserve  of  St.  Epiphanius  (fourth  century) 
when  speaking  upon  the  Blessed  Eucharist  is  very  remark- 
able. Lest  he  might  make  use  of  the  slightest  expression 
that  would  be  calculated  to  excite  the  curiosity  of  the  unini- 
tiated, he  has  recourse  to  the  following  guarded  language i 
"  We  see  that  our  Lord  took  a  thing  into  his  hands,  that  he 
rose  from  the  table,  that  he  resumed  the  thing,  and,  having 
given  thanks,  said  :  '  This  is  that  of  mine.' "  "  We  should 
rather  shed  our  blood,"  says  St.  Gregory  Nazianzen,  "than 
publish  our  mysteries  to  strangers  n  {Or  at.,  pp.  35  and  42). 

Nor  must  we  omit  to  mention  that  during  those  times 
swift-hand  writers  (oZvypdcpoi)  were  sent  around  in  bands 
by  the  pagans  to  take  down  whatever  they  heard  preached 
in  the  Christian  assemblies.  Frequent  mention  of  these  is 
made  by  Sozomen  and  other  historians ;  and,  according  to 
the  testimony  of  St.  Gregory  Nazianzen  {Thirty -third  Ser-> 
mon),  he  himself,  while  preaching,  saw  men  of  this  kind 
stealing  among  the  people  and  hiding,  so  as  not  to  be  de- 
tected in  their  work ;  and  when  they  could  hear  nothing 
worthy  of  noting  they  would  fabricate  something,  and  often 
make  the  preacher  say  what  was  farthest  from  his  intention. 
St.  Gaudentius  (427)  bitterly  inveighed  against  this  clandes- 
tine practice  (Riddle,  Christian  Antiquities,  p.  457). 

We  have  designedly  dwelt  upon  this  subject  for  the  reason 

Dismissal  of  the  Catechumens,  247 

that  Protestants  are  fond  of  saying  that  the  early  Fathers 
say  little  or  nothing  about  the  Eeal  Presence  of  our  Lord  in 
the  Holy  Eucharist.  Let  them  but  remember  that  until  the 
sixth  century  it  was  strictly  forbidden  to  teach  this  doctrine 
openly,  in  virtue  of  the  Discipline  of  the  Secret,  and  they 
will  cease  to  be  surprised  at  this  prudent  silence.  The  his- 
torian Sozomen  had  so  scrupulous  a  regard  for  this  sacred 
Discipline  that  he  would  not  commit  to  writing  the  Creed 
framed  by  the  Council  of  Nicaea  in  a.d.  325,  for  this  also 
came  under  the  Secret. 


If  we  are  to  credit  the  reports  of  travellers  and  tourists, 
preaching  in  the  Oriental  Church  has  gone  almost  into  des- 
uetude, at  least  among  the  schismatics ;  and  at  this  we 
cannot  wonder  when  we  see  the  superficial  training  that 
candidates  for  the  sacred  ministry  there  receive.  They  are 
ordained  in  some  places  upon  the  sole  qualification  of  being 
able  to  recite  a  few  prayers  in  addition  to  the  Creed  ;  and  so 
low  is  their  status  among  the  Copts  that  it  has  been  found 
necessary  to  print  all  the  rubrics  of  the  missal  in  Arabic,  in 
order  that  they  might  know  what  to  do.  (For  a  corrobo- 
ration of  this  statement  concerning  the  wide-spread  igno- 
rance among  the  Oriental  clergy  see  Smith  and  Dwight, 
Researches  in  Armenia,  vol.  ii.  p.  34  et  passim.) 

So  careless  are  the  Eussians  in  regard  to  preaching  that 
they  entrust  the  duty  not  unfrequently  to  the  most  illite- 
rate persons,  even  to  laymen,  and  attach  very  little  impor- 
tance to  the  orthodoxy  of  the  preacher's  views. 


The  moment  the  sermon  was  ended,  or,  in  the  absence  of 
a  sermon,  at  the  end  of  the  Gospel,  the  catechumens  were 
dismissed  from  the  church,  and  then  the  Mass  of  the  Faith- 

248  The  Sermon. 

ful  began  with  closed  doors.  "  Ecce  post  sermonem,"  says 
St.  Augustine,  "  fit  missa  catechumenis  ;  manebunt  fide- 
les " — that  is,  "  After  the  sermon  the  catechumens  are 
dismissed;  the  faithful  will  remain"  (Sermo  237).  To- 
gether with  the  catechumens  were  also  dismissed  the  ener* 
gumens,  or  those  troubled  with  unclean  spirits ;  the  lapsed, 
or  those  who  had  denied  the  faith  openly ;  public  sinners 
whose  term  of  penance  had  not  yet  expired  ;  and,  finally, 
Jews,  Gentiles,  and  pagans.  As  the  going  out  of  these 
caused  no  small  commotion  in  the  church  in  the  early  days 
— for  their  number  was  very  great — it  was  usual  to  place 
porters  at  the  outer  doors  to  see  that  the  strictest  decorum 
was  observed,  and  that  nothing  was  done  out  of  keeping 
with  the  dignity  of  the  place.  The  forms  of  dismissal  varied 
with  different  churches.  Sometimes  it  was,  "  Si  quis  est 
catechumenus  exeat  foras  " — "  If  there  be  any  catechumen 
present  let  him  go  out" — at  other  times,  "  Catechumens  de- 
part !  Catechumens  depart  1 "  This  was  vociferated  seve-  \ 
ral  times  by  the  deacon.  For  a  while  the  phrase  used  to  be, 
"  Si  quis  non  communicat  det  locum  " — "  If  any  one  does  not 
intend  to  communicate  let  him  depart."  We  shall  see  by- 
and-by  that  all  who  assisted  at  Mass  in  the  early  days  were 
expected  to  approach  Holy  Communion,  or  be  considered 
among  the  excommunicated.  According  to  the  Liturgy  of 
St.  James,  the  form  of  dismissal  was,  "  Let  none  of  the  cate- 
chumens remain ;  let  none  of  the  uninitiated,  let  none  of 
those  who  are  not  able  to  join  with  us  in  prayer,  remain  I " 
After  which  the  deacon  cried  :  "  The  doors  !  the  doors  I 
All  upright  ! " 

The  Mozarabic  is  the  only  rite  in  the  Latin  Church  which 
yet  retains  in  divine  service  the  appellations  of  "  Mass  of  the 
Catechumens"  and  "Mass  of  the  Faithful."  Neither  in 
the  East  nor  in  the  West  are  these  dismissals  anything  more 
now  than  mere  commemorations  of  an  ancient  practice. 




There  are  few  words  that  have  a  greater  variety  of 
meanings  than  the  word  symbol,  but  there  seems  to  be  an 
almost  unanimous  opinion  that  its  application  to  the  Creed 
has  been  owing  to  the  fact  that  it  was  at  its  formation 
the  joint  contribution  of  the  Apostles  before  their  separa- 
tion to  evangelize  the  different  portions  of  the  globe.  In  its 
original  acceptation,  coming  as  it  does  from  the  Greek 
avv  {sun,  or  syn,  with  or  together)  and  (3akXco  (hallo, 
I  throw),  it  means  the  portion  subscribed  by  any  one  in- 
dividual towards  some  common  fund.  Thus,  with  the  an- 
cient Romans  the  part  contributed  by  a  person  in  getting 
up  a  public  dinner  or  banquet  went  by  this  name.  The 
application,  then,  of  the  term  to  the  Creed  is  very  appro- 
priate, seeing  that  it  has  been  formed,  as  the  constant  tradi- 
tion of  the  Church  and  the  unanimous  consent  of  the  early 
Fathers  testify,  by  the  Apostles  themselves,  from  whom  it 
derives  ifcs  name  (Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  330;  Divina 
Psalmodia,  p.  501). 


At  the  end  of  the  Missal  of  St.  Columbanus  (an  Irish 
saint  of  the  sixth  century)  there  is  a  very  curious  tract  on 
the  Creed,  which,  among  other  things,  assigns  the  portion 


250  The  Celebration  Of  Mass, 

composed  by  each  of  the  twelve  Apostles.     The  order  is  as 

follows  : 

1st,  St.  Peter — /  believe  in  God  the  Father  Almighty,  Crea~ 

tor  of  heaven  and  earth, 
2d,  St.  John — And  in  Jesus  Christ,  his  only  Son,  our  Lord, 
3d,  St.  James —  Who  was  conceived  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  bom 

of  the  Virgin  Mary, 
4th,  St.  Andrew — Suffered  under  Pontius  Pilate,  was  cru- 
cified, dead,  and  buried, 
5th,  St.  Philip — He  descended  into  hell. 
6th,  St.  Thomas — The  third  day  he  arose  again  from  the 

7th,  St.  Bartholomew — He  ascended  into  heaven,  and  sitteth 

at  the  right  hand  of  God  the  Father  Almighty. 
8th,  St.  Matthew — From  thence  he  shall  come  to  judge  the 

living  and  the  dead. 
9th,  St.  James,   son    of  Alphaeus — I  believe  in  the   Holy 

10th,  St.   Simon  Zelotes — The  Holy  Catholic    Church,   the 

Communion  of  Saints. 
11th,  St.  Thaddeus — TJie  forgiveness  of  sins, 
12th,  St.   Matthias — The  resurrection  of  the  body  and  life 

According  to  Ferraris,  this  analysis  of  the  symbol  was 
worked  out  by  Duns  Scotus,  familiarly  known  as  the  "  Sub- 
tile Doctor "  on  account  of  his  keen  intellect ;  but  as  the 
Missal  of  St.  Columbanus  was  composed  long  before  the 
thirteenth  century,  when  Scotus  flourished,  it  is  not  easy  to 
eee  how  he  could  be  accredited  with  this  work. 

As  the  Creed  was  one  of  the  public  prayers  of  the  Church 
which  the  catechumens  were  not  allowed  to  hear,  it  was  not 
recited  until  they  had  left  the  house  of  God,  and  prior  to 
the  Council  of  Nicaea  it  was  never  committed  to  writing, 
but  only  confided  by  word  of  mouth.     This  we  clearly  learn 

Creed  of  Nicoea,  251 

from  St.  Cyril  among  others,  who  in  his  catechetical  instruc- 
tions (v.  1-12,  pp.  77,  78)  thus  addresses  his  pupils  :  "  This 
[i.e.,  the  Creed]  I  wish  you  to  remember  in  the  very  phra- 
seology, and  to  rehearse  it  with  all  diligence  amongst  your- 
selves, not  writing  it  on  paper,  but  graving  it  by  memory  on 
your  hearts,  being  on  your  guard  in  your  exercise  lest  a  cate- 
chumen should  overhear  the  things  delivered  to  you."  St. 
Ambrose  speaks  to  the  same  effect :  "This  warning  I  give 
you,"  says  he,  "that  the  symbol  ought  not  to  be  written " 
(Explanatio  Symb.  ad  Initiandos). 

According  to  several  authors  of  note,  the  Apostles'  Creed 
was  used  in  the  Mass  up  to  the  year  325,  when  that  framed 
by  the  Fathers  of  the  Council  of  Nicaea  superseded  it,  as 
being  more  explicit  and  complete  on  the  dogmas  of  our 
holy  faith  (Gavantus,  Thesaur.  Sacr.  Hit.,  p.  86). 


This  was  framed  in  the  year  325  at  the  General  Council  oi 
Nicaea,  a  town  of  Bithynia,  in  Asia  Minor,  where  three 
hundred  and  eighteen  Fathers  assembled  at  the  call  of  Pope 
Sylvester  for  the  purpose  of  condemning  the  heretic  Arius, 
who  denied  the  divinity  of  our  Lord. 

Among  the  Fathers  present  at  this  famous  synod,  known 
throughout  the  East  as  the  "  Council  of  the  three  hundred 
and  eighteen,"  were  several  upon  whose  persons  could  yet 
be  seen  the  wounds  they  had  received  for  the  faith  in  the 
previous  persecutions.  The  great  Paphnutius,  Bishop  of 
the  Thebaid,  was  there  with  his  right  eye  plucked  out,  and 
his  right  hand  burned  into  the  very  socket  of  the  arm,  in 
the  persecution  of  Maximilian.  So  deeply  affected  was  the 
Emperor  Constantine  the  Great  at  the  appearance  of  this 
saintly  hero  of  the  faith  that  he  never  took  leave  of  him 
without  first  having  kissed  his  wounds.  Another  venerable 
ipectacle  was  St.   Paul  of  Nova  Caesarea,  whose  two  hands 

252  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

were  burned  off  by  order  of  Licinius.  There  was  present, 
too,  the  great  St.  Potamon,  Bishop  of  Heraclea,  whose  right 
eye  was  plucked  out  during  another  persecution.  All  these 
venerable  men,  old  and  feeble  as  they  were,  braved  the  perils 
of  sea  and  land  in  order  to  defend  the  integrity  of  the 
apostolic  faith  against  the  most  daring  heresy  that  was  ever- 
broached  in  the  Church. 

The  Council;  Constantino  the  Great,  etc. — Pope  Sylvester 
was  the  reigning  pontiff  at  this  time,  but  he  did  not  preside 
in  person.  Vitus  and  Vincent,  priests  of  Kome,  and  Hosius, 
Bishop  of  Cordova,  in  Spain,  represented  him.  It  is  gene- 
rally believed  that  the  last-named  prelate  presided  over  the 
deliberations  of  the  Fathers  ;  and  there  is  an  almost  unani- 
mous agreement  among  ecclesiastical  historians  that  it  was 
he  who  drew  up  the  famous  Creed,  which  the  reader  need 
hardly  be  told  was  written  in  Greek. 

Constantine  the  Great  was  present  a  few  moments  after 
the  Fathers  had  assembled.  When  his  arrival  was  an- 
nounced all  rose  to  their  feet  to  welcome  him,  and  he  was 
forthwith  conducted  to  the  magnificent  golden  throne  pre- 
pared for  him  in  the  assembly-room.  The  emperor  forbade 
any  of  his  court  to  follow  him,  except  those  who  had  been 
baptized.  The  entire  scene  is  so  beautifully  described  by 
Eusebius  that  we  cannot  refrain  from  giving  it  in  full : 
"  The  emperor  appeared  as  a  messenger  of  God,  covered 
with  gold  and  precious  stones — a  magnificent  figure,  tall 
and  slender,  and  full  of  grace  and  majesty.  To  this  majesty 
he  united  great  modesty  and  devout  humility,  so  that  he 
kept  his  eyes  reverently  bent  upon  the  ground,  and  only  sat 
down  upon  the  golden  seat  which  had  been  prepared  for 
him  when  the  bishops  gave  him  the  signal  to  do  so.  As 
soon  as  he  had  taken  his  place  all  the  bishops  took  theirs " 
(Vita  Constan.,  iii.  p.  10).  After  the  congratulatory  ad- 
dress had  been  delivered  to  the  emperor,  the  latter  in  a 

Creed  of  Mccea.  253 

gentle  voice  addressed  the  Fathers.  He  spoke  in  Latin, 
which  a  scribe  at  his  side  immediately  turned  into  Greek. 
At  the  end  of  the  speech  the  articles  touching  the  heresy  of 
Arius  were  read  and  examined,  and  then  the  heretic  himself 
was  called  to  stand  at  the  tribunal. 

Description  of  Arius, — Arius  is  described  as  tall  and 
thin,  of  austere  appearance,  serious  bearing,  but  yet  of  very 
fascinating  manners.  He  is  represented  as  a  learned  man,  a 
clever  and  subtle  logician — proud,  ambitious,  insincere,  and 
cunning.     St.  Epiphanius  called  him  a  perfidious  serpent. 

What  his  Error  really  was. — Like  Philo,  Arius  admitted 
an  intermediate  being,  who,  being  less  than  God,  was  the 
divine  organ  of  the  creation  of  the  world,  like  the  gods  of 
Plato.  Furthermore,  he  transferred  the  idea  of  time  which 
rules  every  human  generation  to  the  divine  generation,  and 
drew  from  that,  as  he  himself  supposed,  by  logical  necessity, 
the  proposition  that  the  Son  could  not  be  co-eternal  with 
the  Father.     It  was  precisely  this  that  condemned  him. 

Eegarding  the  celebrated  word  that  the  Fathers  employed 
as  the  great  weapon  of  defence  against  his  heresy — viz., 
opioovcrioZ  (Homoousios) — a  very  considerable  amount  of 
discussion  has  been  set  on  foot,  owing  to  its  different  shades 
of  meaning,  for  in  its  own  language  it  may  be  interpreted  in 
various  ways  ;  nor  can  it  be  proved  so  easily  that  the  Fathers 
of  Nicaea  intended  it  to  signify,  in  a  theological  point  of 
view,  all  that  it  really  does,  for  it  is  well  known  that  the 
numerical  unity  of  the  three  Persons  of  the  Adorable 
Trinity  was  not  defined  until  the  Fourth  Council  of  Late- 
ran,  in  1215,  condemned  the  opposite  error  of  the  Abbot 

To  translate  "Homoousios"  by  consubstantial  is  not 
enough  without  considerable  explanation,  for  it  is  equally 
true  that  the  Son  of  God  is  consubstantial  with  his  Blessed 
Mother  and  with  us.     His  consubstantiality  with  God  the 

254  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

Father  must  be  something  higher.  Neither  will  it  do 
to  translate  it,  as  may  be  done,  by  the  same  being,  for 
this  would  be  the  heresy  of  Sabellius,  who  maintained  that 
the  Father  and  the  Son  were  one  and  the  same  person, 
but  differing  in  name  only.  But  although  it  is  not  certain 
what  the  exact  ground  was  that  the  Fathers  of  Nicaea  in- 
tended to  cover  by  their  use  of  Homoousios,  this  much  we 
know  and  believe,  that  no  better  word  could  have  been 
chosen  under  the  circumstances  as  a  crucial  test  for  the 
heresy  of  Anus  ;  and  this  Arius  himself  perfectly  un- 
derstood, for  he  moved  heaven  and  earth  to  escape  its 
force.  The  least  ambiguous  term  for  rendering  this  cele- 
brated word  into  English  is  co- eternal,  or  co-equal,  as  the 
word  consubstantial  is  very  liable  to  be  misinterpreted  (see 
Dublin  Review,  June,  1845,  vol.  xviii.,.  art.  "Difficulties  of 
the  Ante-Nicene  Fathers";  Alzog's  Church  History,  vol.  i., 
♦'Arian  Controversy,"  translated  by  Pabisch  and  Byrne; 
History  of  the  Christian  Councils,  by  Hefele,  vol.  i. ;  and 
Tracts,  Theological  and  Ecclesiastical,  by  Eev.  Dr.  New- 

We  must  remark  here  that  the  Nicene  Creed  had  for  its 
basis  the  Apostles'  Creed,  and  that  only  those  clauses  were 
added  which  bore  upon  the  heresy  of  Arius  and  his  heretical 
predecessors.  Another  remark,  too,  that  it  will  not  be 
amiss  to  make  is  this :  that  although  Arianism  at  one  time 
shook  the  whole  earth  to  its  foundations,  still  it  never 
formed  a  church  of  itself,  as  did  Nestorianism  and  Eutychi- 
anism.  There  are  thousands  in  the  East  to-day  who  belong 
to  both  of  these  sects,  but  not  an  Arian  can  be  found  any- 

We  shall  now  give  the  principal  clauses  of  the  Creed  that 
the  Fathers  of  Nicaea  inserted  in  their  new  symbol  of  faith, 
as  well  as  the  names  of  the  principal  heresies  against  which 
they  were  directed : 

Creed  of  Nicoea.  255 

"  Qiov  akr}Bivov  in  Qsov  aXrjdivov." 

Deum  Verum  de  Deo  Vero. 
True  God  of  True  God. 

This  was  inserted  against  the  Arians  and  Eunomians,  both 
of  whom  denied  that  our  Divine  Lord  was  very  God  by 
natural  property,  but  only  in  the  same  way  in  which  certain 
classes  of  men  are  styled  gods  in  the  Scripture ;  as,  for 
instance,  in  the  Eighty-first  Psalm. 

"  revvrjdevTa  ov  noir/devra" 
Genitum,  non  factum. 
Begotten,  not  made. 

This  is  to  show  that  our  Lord  was  not  a  creature,  as  some 
heretics  implied  by  their  phraseology,  and  others,  such  as 
Arius,  asserted. 

"  rO/*oov(Tiov  rep  liar pi ." 
Consubstantialem  Patri. 
Consubstantial  with  the  Father. 

The  "  ofxoovGio?"  as  we  have  said  already,  was  the  wea- 
pon which  prostrated  Arius,  for  it  took  from  him  the  last 
prop  upon  which  his  heresy  rested.  Besides  his,  there 
were  also  included  in  the  anathema  fulminated  by  this 
council  the  teachings  of  the  Manichaeans,  Basilians,  Ebion- 
ites,  Simonians,  and  those  of  Paul  of  Samosata. 

"  6V  ov  ra  ndvra  eyevero." 
Per  quern  omnia  facta  sunt. 
Through  whom  all  things  were  made. 

Many  of  the  early  heretics  maintained  that  God  the 
Father  was  the  maker  of  all  things,  to  the  total  exclusion  of 
the  Son,  contrary  to  what  our  Divine  Lord  himself  says  in 
St.  John,  chapter  v.:    "What  things  soever  he  [i.e.,  the 

256  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

Father]  doth,  these  the  Son  also  doth  in  like  manner. "  In 
their  works  ad  extra,  say  theologians,  the  three  divine  Per- 
sons are  concerned  and  united. 

"  Kai  oapKoddevra,  Hal  ivavQpGonrjGavra" 
Et  incarnatus  est,  et  homo  f actus  est. 
And  became  incarnate,  and  was  made  man. 

This  was  inserted  against  the  many  who  maintained  that 
our  Lord's  body  was  not,  strictly  speaking,  a  real  human 
body,  and  that  his  divinity  supplied  the  place  of  a  human 

According  to  Cardinal  Bona  (Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  331),  as 
J©on  as  this  famous  Creed  was  promulgated  all  the  churches 
of  the  East  adopted  it ;  the  faithful  and  the  catechumens 
were  taught  it ;  and  those  who  did  not  profess  it  openly 
were  stigmatized  at  once  as  Arians. 


We  have  just  seen  how  Arius  was  condemned  at  Nicaea 
for  denying  the  divinity  of  our  Lord.  Another  great  here- 
tic now  started  up,  Macedonius  by  name,  denying  the 
divinity  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  for  which  he  was  condemned  at 
the  second  general  council — viz.,  that  of  Constantinople, 
held  in  the  year  381.  This  council  was  entirely  Oriental  in 
its  nature,  and  only  became  general,  or  oecumenical,1  by  a 
subsequent  decree  of  the  Eoman  Pontiff,  or,  as  theologians 
say,  ex  post  facto.  In  the  condemnation  of  Macedonius 
were  included  also  Apollinaris,  Bishop  of  Laodicea,  and 
Eunomius,  of  whom  we  have  spoken  already. 

As  the  Symbol  of  Faith  received  an  additional  accretion 
at  this  Council,  and  as  it  was  considered  a  very  important 

1  The  word  oecumenical,  coming  from  the  Greek  oixeu  (oikeo,  to  dwell),  in  its 
original  acceptation  means  habitable  *  but  aa  the  habitable  globe  is,  in  a  certain  sense, 
ttoe  whole  world,  it  has  in  a  secondary  way  come  to  mean  universal  or  general. 

When  the  Nicene  Greed  became  part  of  the  Mass.     257 

one  at  that  period  of  the  Church's  existence,  it  was  deemed 
advisable  to  construct  a  new  Creed  on  the  basis  of  the 
Nicene,  in  which  the  distinctive  prerogatives  of  each  of  the 
three  Persons  of  the  Adorable  Trinity  would  be  fully  set 
forth.  The  opinion  is  almost  universal  that  the  composi- 
tion of  this  Creed  was  the  work  of  St.  Gregory  Nazianzen, 
After  this  had  been  drawn  up  and  submitted  to  the  council 
for  inspection  it  is  said  that  all  the  Fathers  cried  out  with 
one  acclaim:  "This  is  the  faith  of  all;  this  is  the  ortho- 
dox faith;  this  we  all  believe"  (St.  Liguori,  History  of 
Heresies,  i.  84). 

This  Creed  is  more  specific,  too,  than  the  Nicene  on  the 
incarnation,  death,  and  resurrection  of  our  Saviour ;  for  it 
inserts  the  clauses  in  italics  of  "  born  of  the  Virgin  Mary" 
" suffered  under  Pontius  Pilate"  " rose  on  the  third  day 
according  to  the  Scriptures." 

In  its  Latin  form  the  Creed  of  Nicaea  contains  in  all 
ninety-five  words,  whilst  that  of  Constantinople  has  as 
many  as  one  hundred  and  sixty-seven.  The  two  are  fre- 
quently confounded  ;  and  even  to-day  it  is  believed  by  many 
that  the  Creed  we  use  in  the  Mass  is  that  which  was 
framed  at  Nicaea.  Strictly  speaking,  it  is  neither  the 
Nicene  nor  Constantinopolitan,  but  the  one  which  was 
prepared  by  the  Fathers  of  the  Council  of  Trent  in  the 
sixteenth  century.  Of  course  we  must  not  be  understood  as 
saying  that  this  council  added  anything  new  to  the  Creed 
in  the  way  of  a  dogma.  The  changes  that  it  made  wholly 
respected  its  grammatical  construction  (see  Ferraris,  BiMio- 
theca,  art.  "Symb.") 


According  to  Renaudot  {Liturg.  Orient.,  i.  p.  200),  the 
Nicene  Creed  was  introduced  into  the  Mass  of  the  Eastern 
Church   immediately  after  its  formation  by  the   "Three 

258  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

hundred  and  eighteen,"  and  its  recital  was  never  inter- 
rupted. But  it  did  not  find  its  way  into  the  Mass  of  the 
Western  Church  at  so  early  a  period,  for  the  reason,  given  by 
some,  that  this  Church  never  fell  into  any  of  the  errors 
spoken  of,  and  that,  therefore,  since  its  faith  was  evident  to 
all,  there  was  no  necessity  of  making  open  profession  of  it. 
Indeed,  it  may  be  asserted  without  fear  of  contradiction  that 
the  Nicene  Creed,  strictly  so  called,  was  never  recited  in  the 
Mass  of  the  Western  Church  ;  for  when  the  practice  of  recit- 
ing one  at  all  came  into  use,  which,  according  to  Pope  Ben- 
edict XIV.  (Be  Sacr.  Miss.,  p.  46),  was  soon  after  the  year 
471,  the  Creed  was  not  the  Nicene  but  that  of  Constanti- 
nople. The  custom  of  singing  the  Creed  at  Mass  was  not, 
according  to  the  same  pontiff,  introduced  into  the  Roman 
Church  until  the  time  of  Benedict  VIII.  (1012-1024),  and 
it  was  only  introduced  then  in  order  to  gratify  the  most 
earnest  wishes  of  Henry  II.,  Emperor  of  Germany.  Pre- 
vious to  this,  the  Creed  was  simply  recited. 

We  have  now  come  to  one  of  the  most  interesting  ques- 
tions that  we  possibly  could  be  engaged  in  considering, 
and  the  most  difficult,  perhaps,  that  has  ever  been  raised  in 
the  Church  ;  but,  inasmuch  as  we  are  not  writing  an  ecclesi- 
astical history  or  dealing  with  purely  dogmatical  questions, 
we  think  our  duty  will  be  discharged  if  we  give  the  reader 
the  leading  facts  of  the  great  controversy  that  this  celebrated 
clause  gave  rise  to. 

We  preface  our  remarks  by  correcting  an  error  which  too 
many  have  fallen  into  for  want  of  a  thorough  examination 
of  the  case — to  wit,  that  of  ascribing  the  separation  of  the 
Eastern  Church  from  the  Western  to  the  doctrine  involved 
in  the  "Filioque."  Every  student  of  ecclesiastical  history 
knows   that  the  original  cause  of   this  separation  was  the 

Addition  of  the  "  Filioque."  259 

refusal  on  the  part  of  Rome  to  acquiesce  in  the  impious 
action  of  the  Emperor  Bardas,  who  thrust  into  the  See 
of  Constantinople  the  audacious  Photius,  a  mere  layman, 
in  place  of  St.  Ignatius,  the  legitimate  bishop.  This 
happened  about  the  year  858,  and  from  this  dates  the 
separation  of  the  two  churches.9  Photius,  finding  that 
his  sacrilegious  act  would  not  be  countenanced  at  Rome, 
moved  heaven  and  earth  to  stir  up  as  bitter  feelings  as  he 
could  between  the  two  churches,  and  so  began  to  arouse  the 
suspicions  of  the  Greeks  by  representing  to  them  that  the 
Latins  were  favoring  the  Manichsean  heresy,  inasmuch  as 
they  admitted  two  principles  in  the  Deity  ;  furthermore, 
that  the  Latin  Church,  in  holding  that  the  Holy  Ghost  pro- 
ceeded from  the  Father  and  the  Son,  acted  contrary  to  the 
express  wishes  and  declarations  of  the  previous  general 
councils,  and  that,  in  consequence,  it  had  fallen  from  the 
faith  and  become  heretical.  The  Latin  Church  foresaw  from 
the  beginning  that  the  state  of  affairs  in  the  Greek  Church 
would  eventually  take  this  turn,  for  the  Greeks  were  always 
hot-headed  and  difficult  to  manage  ;  but  she  wisely  abstained 
from  aggravating  the  case  by  making  any  public  parade  of 
the  "  Filioque  "  until  things  would  assume  a  more  tranquil 

It  is  now  very  well  understood  that  there  never  existed 
anything  more  between  these  churches  on  the  doctrine  in- 
volved in  the  clause  in  question  than  a  mere  misunderstand- 
ing in   regard   to   some    theological   technicalities.     "The 

a  To  show  how  fickle-minded  the  Greeks  were,  and  how  very  ill  they  hore  being 
separated  from  the  Western  Church,  which  they  well  knew  contained  the  centre  of 
unity  and  the  divinely-appointed  teacher  and  expositor  of  all  that  pertained  to  faith  and 
morals,  they  sought  to  be  reunited  no  less  than  fourteen  different  times  prior  to  the  Gene- 
ral Council  of  Florence,  where  the  last  union  between  the  two  churches  was  effected. 
Unhappily  for  themselves,  none  of  these  unions  lasted  long.  The  Greeks  returned 
again  to  their  errors,  and  so  they  remain  to-day,  like  the  <Tews,  a  spectacle  to  the  rest 
Of  mankind 

260  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

Greeks,"  says  the  late  Dr.  Brownson  in  an  article  in  the 
Ave  Maria  of  June,  1868,  "never  denied  that  the  Holy 
Ghost  proceeds  from  the  Son  as  medium  ;  what  they  denied 
was — what  they  understood  by  the  *  Filioque ' — that  he  pro- 
ceeds from  the  Son  as  a  principle  distinct  from  the  Fa- 
ther. .  .  .  There  was  a  misunderstanding  between  the  La- 
tins and  the  Greeks.  The  Latins  supposed  that  the  Greeks 
excluded  the  Son,  and  made  the  Holy  Ghost  proceed  from  the 
Father  alone  without  any  participation  of  the  Son,  which  is 
unquestionably  a  heresy ;  the  Greeks,  on  the  other  hand, 
supposed  that  the  Latins  by  their  '  Filioque '  represented 
the  Holy  Ghost  as  proceeding  from  the  Father  and  the  Son 
as  two  distinct  original  principles,  which  was  equally  a  here- 
sy." The  depositions  made  at  the  Council  of  Florence  in 
1439  clearly  show  that  both  Greeks  and  Latins  were  alike 
orthodox  on  this  celebrated  question. 

"When  the  Filioque  was  inserted. — The  reader  need  hardly 
be  told,  but  we  think  it  well  to  call  his  particular  atten- 
tion to  the  fact,  that  the  early  ages  of  the  Church  and  those 
we  now  live  in  differ  very  widely.  There  were  no  swift 
ships  then  to  cross  the  ocean  and  bear  despatches  from  place 
to  place  ;  nor  had  such  things  been  heard  of  as  railroads 
and  telegraphs.  News  travelled  very  slowly  ;  and  things 
went  on  in  their  own  way,  unknown  and  unobserved  by  any 
save  those  in  whose  locality  they  occurred.  That  Kome,  the 
centre  of  unity  and  orthodoxy,  always  kept  a  vigilant  watch 
over  the  whole  of  Christendom  nobody  attempts  to  deny ; 
but  as  Rome  was  often  very  far  away,  it  could  not  be  ex- 
pected that  she  would  become  cognizant  of  local  events  as 
soon  as  they  occurred.  For  this  reason  customs  were  intro- 
duced into  many  remote  churches  and  allowed  to  take  deep 
root  there  before  the  Holy  See  even  knew  of  their  existence. 
The  "  Filioque  "  first  took  rise  in  this  way,  and  forced  itself 
into  the  Creed  without  either  the  knowledge  or  consent  of 

Addition  of  the  "  Filioque."  261 

Rome.  The  precise  date  at  which  this  happened  remains 
yet  among  the  disputed  points — some  say  in  the  year  400  ; 
others,  589.  All,  however,  are  unanimous  in  saying  that  the 
addition,  was  .first  made  in  Spain  ;  that  thence  it  made  its 
way  into  France  j  from  France  it  was  introduced  into  Ger- 
many, and  so  continued  its  course  until  it  was  deemed 
necessary  at   last   to   authorize   its  -final  insertion. 

When  the  Spanish  Church  was  called  upon  to  answer  for 
its  conduct  in  tkis  matter,  it  alleged  as  a  plea  that  it  was 
necessitated  to  place  the  divinity  of  our  Lord  in  as  strong  a 
light  as  possible,  in  order  to  check  the  rapid  strides  that 
Arianism  was  making  in  its  territories  at  the  hands  of  the 
Goths  and  Visigoths,  who  had  then  almost  undisturbed 
possession  of  the  country,  and  who  were  avowed  professors 
of  this  dangerous  heresy.  As  the  French  Church  had  some 
misgivings  about  the  propriety  of  following  the  example  of 
the  Spanish  in  a  matter  so  very  delicate,  a  council  was  sum- 
moned at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  in  December,  809,  by  order  of 
Charlemagne,  to  see  what  steps  should  be  taken.  Pope  Leo 
III.  was  the  reigning  pontiff  at  the  time.  The  council 
unanimously  agreed  that  the  proper  way  to  act  was  first  to 
consult  the  Holy  See  and  abide  by  its  decision.  Bernhar, 
Bishop  of  Worms,  and  Adelard,  Abbot  of  Corby,  were  ac- 
cordingly despatched  to  the  Pope  with  instructions  to  ask 
whether  it  would  be  pleasing  to  his  Holiness  or  not  to  have 
the  Church  of  France,  after  the  example  of  its  Spanish 
sister,  add  the  "  Filioque  "  to  the  Creed.  From  the  manner 
in  which  the  Holy  Father,  Pope  Leo,  acted  with  the  legates 
it  is  easy  to  see  how  displeased  he  was  at  learning  that  any 
Church  should  dare  to  tamper  with  the  Creed  without  the 
supreme  authority  of  the  Holy  See.  He  did  not  say  to  the 
legates  that  they  might  add  it,  nor  did  he  say  that  they 
might  not.  If  he  said  the  first,  he  clearly  foresaw  the  un- 
pleasant results  that  would  ensue  when  the  thing  came  to 

262  Tlie  Celebration  of  Mass, 

the  knowledge  of  the  troublesome  Greeks,  who  would  not 
hear  of  any  intermeddling  whatever  with  the  Creed  of 
Nicaea  or  Constantinople  ;  and  if  he  said  the  second,  he 
feared  very  much  that  the  Spaniards  and  others  might 
accuse  him  of  favoring  the  Arians.  He  evaded  a  direct 
answer  by  saying  to  the  legates  :  "  Had  I  been  asked 
before  the-  insertion  took  place,  I  should  have  been  against 
it;  but  now— which,  however,  I  do  not  say  decidedly,  but 
merely  as  discussing  the  matter  with  you — as  far  as  I  see 
both  things  may  thus  be  accomplished  :  Let  the  custom  of 
singing  that  Creed  cease  in  the  palace,  since  it  is  not  sung 
in  our  holy  Church,  and  thus  it  wTill  come  to  pass  that  what 
is  given  up  by  you  will  be  given  up  by  all ;  and  so,  perhaps, 
as  far  as  may  be,  both  advantages  will  be  secured."  The 
legates  departed  satisfied  with  this  response,  and  Pope  Leo, 
to  evince  his  determination  to  preserve  the  Creed  inviolate, 
caused  two  silver  plates  to  be  cast,  upon  which  he  had  the 
symbol  engraved  in  Latin  and  Creek  and  affixed  to  the  gate 
of  the  Church  of  St.  Paul.  For  a  full  and  interesting 
account  of  the  entire  interview  between  the  legates  of 
Charlemagne  on  this  occasion  and  the  Sovereign  Pontiff, 
the  reader  is  requested  to  consult  Baronius,  tome  ix.,  or 
Neale's  Holy  Eastern  Church,  ii.  p.  1163. 

According  to  some,  the  final  insertion  of  the  "  Filioque  " 
was  made  by  Pope  Nicholas  the  Great  somewhere  between 
the  years  858  and  867  ;  others  maintain  that  this  was  not 
authoritatively  done  until  the  time  of  Pope  Benedict  VIII. 
— that  is,  about  the  beginning  of  the  eleventh  century  (see 
Perrone,  Prcelectiones  Theol,  iv.  p.  346,  note  8).  It  will 
interest  the  reader  to  know  that  the  Uniat  Greeks,  or  those 
in  communion  with  Eome,  are  not  required  to  recite  the 
"  Filioque "  in  the  Creed  at  the  present  day,  even  though 
saying  Mass  in  presence  of  the  Supreme  Pontiff.  All  that 
the  Holy  See  requires  of  them  in  this  matter  is  that  they 

Part  of  the  Mass  at  which  the  Creed  is  Recited,      263 

believe  in  the  doctrine  involved  in  it,  and  be  ready  to  make 
open  profession  of  it  when  called  upon  to  do  so  {ibid.  p. 
350,  note  16). 


According  to  the  Roman  Rite,  the  Creed  is  recited  im- 
mediately after  the  Gospel,  or  after  the  sermon,  if  there 
should  have  been  one.  In  the  Mozarabic  Rite  it  is  recited 
just  before  the  "  Pater  Noster,"  in  accordance  with  a  decree 
of  the  third  Council  of  Toledo,  a.d.  589,  and  this  in  order 
that  the  people  may  receive  the  Body  and  Blood  of  our  Lord 
in  Holy  Communion  with  hearts  full  of  fresh  faith  and  love 
(Summa  Conciliorum,  p.  124 ;  Liturg.  Mozar.,  Migne,  p. 
118,  note). 

Eastern  Practice  regarding  its  Recital. — The  Armenians 
Tecite  the  Creed  at  the  same  part  of  the  Mass  that  we  do — 
viz.,  after  the  Gospel.  In  the  Liturgy  of  St.  James  it  fol- 
lows soon  after  the  expulsion  of  the  catechumens.  It  is  a 
little  further  on  in  the  Liturgy  of  St.  Chrysostom.  The 
Nestorians  recite  it  close  upon  the  Canon,  and  the  Copt* 
immediately  before  the  prayer  of  the  "  Kiss  of  peace."  Sc 
great  a  veneration  has  the  Russian  Church  for  the  Creed 
that  the  great  bell  of  the  Kremlin  tolls  the  entire  time  of  its 
chanting,  and  with  many  of  the  nobles  of  the  land  it  is  cus- 
tomary to  have  it  worked  in  pearls  upon  their  robes  of  state 
(Holy  Eastern  Church,  by  Neale  and  Littledale,  p.  32). 

Ceremonies  attending  the  Recital  of  the  Creed.— With  very 
little  exception  the  Creed  is  recited  precisely  as  the  "  Gloria 
in  excelsis."  When  the  priest  has  come  to  the  "  et  incar- 
natus  est "  he  begins  to  incline  the  knee  so  as  to  touch  the 
ground  at  "homofactus  est/'  and  this  to  recall  more  inti- 
mately to  mind  the  profound  humility  of  our  Divine  Lord  in 
louring  upon  earth  for  our  sakes  and  taking  our  nature  upon 

264  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

him  (Romsee,  iv.  118).  The  Carthusians  make  only  a  simple 
bow  of  the  knee  at  this  place,  without  touching  the  ground. 
According  to  the  Roman  Rite,  the  priest  says  the  entire 
Creed  at  the  middle  of  the  altar  before  the  crucifix.  The 
Dominicans  begin  its  initial  words  there,  but  finish  the  rest 
of  it  at  the  Gospel  side,  where  the  missal  is.  When  they 
come  to  the  place  where  the  genuflection  is  to  be  made  they 
move  to  the  middle,  and,  having  spread  out  the  anterior  part 
of  the  chasuble  on  the  altar  in  front  of  them,  kneel  down 
and  touch  the  ground  as  we  do.  They  then  return  to  the 
missal  and  finish  the  rest  there.  In  the  Masses  that  are  said 
in  the  Church  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre  at  Jersusalem — which, 
it  is  well  to  state,  are  always  de  Resurrectione — instead  of 
simply  saying  "et  sepultus  est,"  it  is  of  obligation  to  add 
the  adverb  "hie,"  and  say  "was  buried  here"  by  way  of 
specification  of  place  (Vetromile,  Travels  in  Europe  and  the 
Holy  Land,  p.  211). 


The  Creed  is  said  on  all  the  Sundays  of  the  year,  in 
memory  of  our  Lord's  resurrection  on  that  day,  and  also 
out  of  deference  to  the  Adorable  Trinity,  to  whom  Sunday, 
as  being  the  principal  liturgical  day,  is  dedicated.  During 
the  rest  of  the  week  the  Creed,  as  a  general  rule,  is  not  said. 
Formerly  it  was  not  said  on  the  feasts  of  the  Holy  Angels, 
inasmuch  as  they  had  nothing  to  do  with  it,  but  it  is  said 
now  because  they  come  under  the  "invisibilium  omnium" 
(Ferraris,  p.  751).  It  will  interest  the  reader  to  know  that 
St.  Mary  Magdalene  is  the  only  female  saint  in  heaven — the 
Mother  of  God  alone  excepted — who  enjoys  the  privilege  of 
having  a  Credo  in  her  Mass,  and  this  because,  in  the  lan- 
guage of  the  Church,  she  is  styled  "  Apostola  Apostolorum  " 
— the  Apostle  of  Apostles — for  it  was  to  her,  as  the  Scriptures 
testify,  that  our  Lord  first  appeared  after  his  resurrection. 

To  what  Masses  the  Creed  is  Proper.  265 

The  other  occasions  upon  which  the  Credo  is  said  are, 
with  few  exceptions,  comprehended  under  the  old  dictum  of 
rubricists,  "  Muc  non  credunt."  Taking  the  letters  of  Muc 
apart,  we  have  "m,"  which  stands  for  martyrs ;  "u,"  or 
"v,"  for  virgins,  widows,  and  non-virgins ;  and  "c,"  for 
confessors,  all  of  whom  have  no  Credo  special  to  them. 
As  exceptions  to  this  rule  may  be  mentioned  the  feasts  of 
the  apostles  and  doctors  of  the  Church,  also  those  of  our 
Lord  and  his  Blessed  Mother.  With  us  the  Creed  is  never 
said  in  Masses  for  the  dead,  but  it  is  with  the  Greeks,  who 
also  on  such  occasions  celebrate  in  red  vestmonta  instead  of 
black,  as  is  our  custom. 




The  word  Offertory — from  the  Latin  offerre,  to  offer — 
is  now  used  in  two  special  senses,  the  first,  meaning  the 
prayer  called  in  the  Missal  the  Offertorium,  which  the  priest 
reads  immediately  after  the  Creed ;  the  second,  all  that  takes 
place  at  the  altar  from  the  end  of  this  prayer  to  the  end  of 
the  oblation  of  the  bread  and  wine. 

In  the  early  ages  of  the  Church  it  was  customary  for  the 
people  to  present  here  bread  and  wine  for  the  use  of  the 
altar,  oil  for  the  sanctuary-lamp,  incense  for  Solemn  High 
Mass,  and  ears  of  corn  and  clusters  of  grapes  as  the  first- 
fruits  of  the  land  (Bona,  p.  332).  By  the  third  of  the 
Apostolic  Canons,  nothing  but  what  was  required  for  the 
Holy  Sacrifice  could  be  placed  on  the  altar ;  all  the  other 
offerings  were  usually  received  on  a  side-table  prepared  for 
the  purpose,  and  called  in  ancient  books,  and  yet  so  styled 
by  the  Greeks,  the  Gazophilacium.  The  Council  of  Trullo/ 
in  the  year  692,  forbade  the  offering  of  milk  and  honey. 
The  Council  of  Carthage,  in  397,  allowed  these  commodities 
to  be  offered  once  a  year — viz.,  at  Easter — because  it  was 
customary  at  that  time  especially  to  give  milk  and  honey 
to  the  newly  baptized  ;  a  custom  which  is  yet  almost  univer- 
sally observed  in  the  East.     In  presenting  these  gifts  the 

1  So  called  because  the  room  of  the  emperor's  palace  at  Constantinople  where  thia 
council  was  held  was  shaped  after  the  manner  of  a  trulla,  or  basin.  It  was  this 
council  that  forbade  the  making  of  the  cross  on  the  pavements,  lest  people  walking 
upon  it  may  desecrate  it. 


The  Order  in  which  the  Offerings  were  Presented.    26? 

people  usually  gave  in  their  names  also,  in  order  that  they 
might  be  recorded  among  those  for  whom  the  priest  made 
a  special  memento  ;  and  it  served,  too,  for  determining  who 
it  was  that  intended  going  to  Holy  Communion  on  that 
occasion,  for,  as  a  general  rule,  all  who  presented  offerings 
approached  the  Blessed  Eucharist  (Hid.,  p.  333). 

This  ancient  custom  is  yet  kept  up  in  many  European 
churches,  at  Lyons  especially ;  and  vestiges  of  it  may  be 
seen  in  the  Masses  of  ordination,  where  the  elect  to  orders 
present  wax  candles  at  this  place  to  the  ordaining  bishop ; 
also  in  the  Mass  of  the  consecration  of  a  bishop-elect,  where 
the  newly-appointed  offers  two  lighted  candles,  two  loaves  of 
bread,  and  two  ornamented  small  barrels  of  wine.  Accord- 
ing to  Kozma  (p.  186),  this  ancient  custom  continued,  with 
little  interruption,  up  to  the  thirteenth  century,  when  it 
gave  place  to  that  in  vogue  to-day  of  receiving  the  people's 
offerings  in  the  pews  throughout  the  church. 


The  Roman  Ordo,  describing  the  Offertory  as  it  was  ob- 
served in  the  ninth  century,  tells  us  that  the  people  pre- 
sented their  gifts  in  a  clean  linen  cloth,  the  male  portion  of 
the  congregation  leading  the  way,  and  the  females  after 
them  with  their  cakes  of  fine  flour  and  cruses  of  wine. 
The  priests  and  deacons  presented  gifts  after  the  people,  but 
these  were  of  bread  simply.  When  the  bishop  was  present 
the  onus  of  receiving  the  gifts  devolved  always  upon  him. 
For  this  reason,  as  soon  as  the  time  for  presenting  them  had 
arrived,  his  lordship  walked  over  to  the  end  of  the  altar- 
rail,  followed  by  an  archdeacon,  a  subdeacon,  and  two  aco- 
lytes. The  subdeacon,  with  an  empty  chalice,  followed 
immediately  after  the  archdeacon,  who,  upon  receiving  the 
offerings  of  wine  from  the  hands  of  the  bishop  (who  himself 

268  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

had  received  them  first  from  the  people),  poured  them  into 
the  large  chalice  held  by  the  subdeacon.  The  offerings  of 
bread  were  handed  direct  by  the  bishop  to  the  subdeacon, 
who  placed  them  in  a  large  linen  cloth  carried  by  two  aco- 
lytes. When  all  was  ended  the  bishop  washed  his  hands 
(a  custom  yet  observed  in  a  Bishop's  Mass),  and,  having 
returned  to  the  altar,  there  received  the  offerings  of  the 
priests  and  deacons.  All  that  remained  over  and  above 
what  was  necessary  for  the  immediate  wants  of  the  altar 
on  these  occasions,  went  into  a  common  fund  for  the  suste- 
nance of  the  clergy  and  the  poor  of  the  parish  (Kozma, 
i  bid. ) 

A  question  that  is  not  easily  settled  is  this  :  Did  any  of 
the  congregation  approach  the  altar  at  the  Offertory  and 
place  their  gifts  upon  it,  instead  of  presenting  them  at  the 
rails,  as  we  have  described  ?  The  discipline  of  allowing  no 
one  inside  the  sanctuary  but  the  ministers  of  the  altar  was 
always  very  strictly  observed  in  the  Greek  Church,  except  in 
case  of  the  emperors  of  Constantinople,  in  whose  favor  an 
exception  was  made ;  and  that  it  was  strictly  observed,  too, 
in  the  Latin  Church,  at  least  for  quite  a  long  time,  may  be 
clearly  seen  from  the  conciliar  statutes  that  were  made  con- 
cerning it.  But  that  there  were  places  and  times  when  a  re- 
laxation of  this  discipline  was  allowed  to  be  made,  there  ii 
every  reason  to  believe,  and  it  is  generally  understood  that  at 
least  the  male  portion  of  the  congregation  went  up  with 
their  gifts  to  the  altar  itself,  but  that  the  female  portion 
presented  them  at  the  rails.  This,  certainly,  was  the  cus- 
tom throughout  the  diocese  of  Orleans,  in  France,  as  we 
learn  from  the  capitulary  of  Theodulf,  bishop  of  that  see. 
Cardinal  Bona  says  that  in  course  of  time  this  whole  disci- 
pline was  so  relaxed  that  both  males  and  females  approached 
the  altar  indiscriminately  when  the  Offertory  was  at  hand 
(Ber.  Liturg.f  p.  336). 

Music  during  the  Offertory.  269 



As  late  as  the  sixteenth  century  a  very  singular  custom 
prevailed  in  England — viz.,  that  of  presenting  at  the  altar 
during  a  Mass  of  Requiem  all  the  armor  and  military 
equipments  of  deceased  knights  and  noblemen,  as  well  as 
their  chargers.  Dr.  Rock  (Church  of  Our  Fathers,  ii. 
507)  tells  us  that  as  many  as  eight  horses,  fully  capari- 
soned, used  to  be  brought  into  the  church  for  this  pur- 
pose at  the  burial  of  some  of  the  higher  nobility.  At 
the  funeral  of  Henry  VII.,  in  Westminster  Abbey,  after 
the  royal  arms  had  first  been  presented  at  the  foot  of  the 
altar,  we  are  told  that  Sir  Edward  Howard  rode  into  church 
upon  "agoodlie  courser,"  with  the  arms  of  England  em- 
broidered upon  his  trappings,  and  delivered  him  to  the 
abbots  of  the  monastery  (ibid.)  Something  similar  hap- 
pened at  the  Mass  of  Requiem  for  the  repose  of  the  soul  of 
Lord  Bray,  in  a.d.  1557,  and  at  that  celebrated  for  Prince 
Arthur,  son  of  Henry  VII.  (ibid.) 


Up  to  the  fourth  century  the  presentation  of  gifts  tools 
place  in  silence,  but  after  this  period  the  custom  of  singing 
psalms  at  this  place,  in  order  to  relieve  the  tedium  of  the 
people,  was  introduced  (Kozma,  pp.  186, 187).  St.  Augustine 
alludes  particularly  to  this  custom  in  his  works  (see  Retract., 
1.  ii.  c.  xi.),  and  a  precedent  for  it  may  be  seen  in  the  old 
law,  where  the  sons  of  Aaron,  while  the  high-priest  was 
offering  the  blood  of  the  grape,  sounded  their  silver  trum- 
pets, and  the  singers  lifted  up  their  voices  and  caused  the 
great  house  to  resound  with  sweet  melody  (Ecclesiasticus, 
chap.  1.) 

The  custom  very  generally  prevails  here  to-day  of  singing, 

270  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

instead  of  the  Offertorium  itself,  a  certain  musical  composi- 
tion called  a  motet,9  in  which  several  voices  join,  accom- 
panied by  instruments.  These  motets  must  be  always  sung 
in  Latin,  never  in  English,  or  any  other  language,  without 
the  permission  of  the  Holy  See.  They  must  be  character- 
ized, too,  by  gravity  and  dignity  both  as  to  wording  and 
rendition,  so  as  to  be  qualified  to  raise  the  feelings  to  a  con- 
templation of  heavenly  things  rather  than  excite  in  them 
earthly  desires  (Benedict  XIV.,  1.  c,  §  89). 

The  Offertorium,  according  to  the  present  disposition  of 
the  Koman  Missal,  is,  for  the  most  part,  very  short,  seldom 
exceeding  half  a  dozen  lines.  It  is  generally  taken  from 
the  Psalter  of  David,  and  was  formerly  called  an  antiphon, 
for  the  reason  that  in  the  Antiphonary  of  Pope  Gregory 
the  Great  certain  verses  used  to  *be  attached  to  it  after 
the  manner  of  a  versicle  and  response.  Whenever  the  offer- 
ing of  the  gifts  on  the  part  of  the  people  took  up  more  time 
than  usual,  it  was  customary  to  sing  the  entire  psalm  here, 
or  at  least  as  much  of  it  as  would  occupy  the  whole  time 
that  elapsed  from  the  reading  of  the  Offertorium  by  the 
priest  to  the  end  of  the  offering  of  gifts  (Romsee,  iv.  125  ; 
Kozma,  pp.  186,  187). 

The  Offertorium  common  to  all  Masses  for  the  dead  is 
yet  formed  after  the  ancient  manner  of  an  antiphon,  a 
versicle,  and  a  response,  though  it  is  not,  like  the  great  ma- 
jority, taken  from  the  psalms.    In  fact,  it  is  from  no  part  of 

» The  word  motet  comes  originally  from  the  Latin  movere,  to  move ;  but  whether 
this  name  has  been  given  it  from  its  moving  effect  upon  the  feelings,  or  from  its  some- 
what lively  and  more  sprightly  nature  in  opposition  to  the  slow,  measured  motion  of 
plain  chant,  authors  are  not  prepared  to  say.  Moriey,  in  his  Introduction  to  Har- 
mony, p.  179,  thus  writes  of  it :  "A  motet  is  properly  a  song  made  for  the  Church, 
either  upon  some  hymn  or  anthem,  or  such  Jike ;  and  that  name  I  take  to  have  been 
given  to  that  kind  ot  mnsicke,  in  opposition  to  the  other,  which  they  call  4  canto 
flnno,1  and  we  do  commonlie  call  plain  chant ;  for  as  nothing  is  more  opposite  to 
standing  and  firmness  than  motion,  so  did  they  give  the  motet  that  name  of  moving^ 
because  it  is,  in  a  manner,  quite  coutrarie  to  the  othej," 

The  Offertorium.  271 

Holy  Scripture.  As  this  same  Offertorium,  on  account  of 
its  strange  wording,  has  given  rise  to  much  curious  ques- 
tioning, some  going  so  far  as  to  say  that  the  Church  in- 
tends by  it  the  liberation  of  the  souls  of  the  damned  from 
hell,  we  deem  it  well  to  give  it  entire  to  the  reader, 
and  make  the  necessary  comments  afterwards  :  "  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  King  of  glory,  deliver  the  souls  of  all  the 
faithful  departed  from  the  pains  of  hell  and  the  deep  lake ; 
deliver  them  from  the  mouth  of  the  lion,  lest  Tartarus  swal- 
low them  up,  lest  they  fall  into  the  dark  place  ;  but  let  the 
standard-bearer,  St.  Michael,  bring  them  into  the  holy 
light  which  thou  didst  of  old  promise  to  Abraham  and  his 
posterity. " 

In  a  secondary  way  all  this  may  be  applied  to  Purgatory ; 
but  to  our  mind  the  intrinsic  beauty  and  effect  of  the  whole 
prayer  would  be  lost  if  this  were  its  exclusive  application. 
Its  true  explanation  is  this :  In  the  very  early  days  of  the 
Church  Masses  for  the  faithful  departed  were  accustomed  to 
be  celebrated  the  moment  it  became  known  that  any  given 
soul  was  in  its  last  agony,  and,  consequently,  past  all  chance 
of  recovery.  It  made  no  difference  what  time  of  the  day  this 
happened,  or  whether  the  priest  who  said  the  Mass  was  fast- 
ing or  not.  The  virtue  of  the  Holy  Sacrifice  was  then  sup- 
posed to  ascend  before  the  throne  of  God  simultaneously 
with  the  departure  of  the  soul  of  the  deceased  to  the 
tribunal  of  judgment,  and  the  merciful  God  was  besought, 
in  consideration  of  this,  not  to  condemn  it  to  hell's  flames. 
(The  authors  who  say  that  this  view  may  be  taken  of  it  are 
Pope  Benedict  XIV.,  De  Sacros.  Missce  Sacrif.;  Eomsee, 
iv.  126  ;  Cavalieri,  torn.  iii.  dec.  19  ;  Grancolas,  De  Missis 
Mortuorum,  p.  536  ;  Gavantus,  Thesaur.  Sacr.  Rit.,  p.  92.) 
A  moment's  consideration  would  enable  any  one  to  see  that 
Purgatory  never  could  have  been  directly  meant  by  the  word- 
ing of  this  Offertorium,     For  what  fear*  it  might  be  asked, 

272  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

could  there  be  entertained  of  having  a  soul  swallowed  up  by 
Tartarus,  or  drowned  in  the  "deep  lake,"  who  was  already 
secure  in  that  middle  state,  and  whose  eternal  happiness 
was  certain  ?  The  souls  in  Purgatory  are  in  a  state  of 
grace,  and,  as  there  is  no  danger  of  their  ever  falling  from 
it,  it  would  be  idle,  nay,  heretical,  to  pray  for  them  as  if 
iuch  danger  existed. 

To  this  interpretation  it  is  sometimes  objected  that  the 
entire  tenor  of  these  Masses  would  lead  a  person  to  suppose 
<hat  the  soul  for  whom  they  are  designed  to  be  offered  had 
oeen  some  time  dead  ;  how,  then,  it  is  asked,  can  this  view 
be  reconciled  ?  Although  the  ancient  custom  of  saying 
these  Masses  when  the  soul  was  in  its  last  agony  no  longer 
exists,  still  the  Church  has  not  deemed  it  necessary  to 
change  their  wording,  inasmuch  as  it  may  yet  be  easily  veri- 
fied by  supposing  the  time  at  which  these  Masses  are  now 
offered  withdrawn  to  that  very  moment  in  the  past  when 
the  soul  was  leaving  the  body.  Instances  of  thus  withdraw- 
ing from  the  present  time,  and  representing  an  event  as  yet 
to  take  place  which  has  really  already  taken  place,  is  by  no 
means  uncommon  in  the  offices  of  the  Church.  The  whole 
of  Advent  time,  for  example,  is  framed  upon  this  principle. 
We  pray  then  for  the  coming  of  the  great  Messias  with  as 
much  earnestness  as  if  he  were  yet  to  appear.  We  ask  the 
heavens  to  open  and  rain  down  the  Just  One.  We  beg  of 
God  to  send  us  a  Eedeemer,  and  we  ask  the  aid  of  His  divine 
grace  to  enable  us  to  prepare  in  our  hearts  a  suitable  dwell- 
ing into  which  to  receive  Him.  Many  more  examples  may 
be  cited  to  show  that  this  mode  of  praying  is  by  no 
means  unusual.  St.  Michael  is  here  styled  God's  standard- 
bearer  because  chief  of  the  heavenly  host ;  and  it  was  to 
him,  as  ancient  tradition  states,  that  the  duty  of  hurling 
Satan  and  the  rest  of  the  fallen  angels  from  heaven  was 
entrusted.     He  is  called  the  "  Winged  Angel,"  and  is  gene- 

The  Offertory  proper.  273 

rally  represented  in  art  with  a  shield  and  lance.  When 
depicted  as  the  conqueror  of  Satan  he  stands  in  armor 
with  his  foot  upon  the  demon,  who  is  represented  prostrate 
in  the  shape  of  a  fierce  dragon.  As  lord  of  souls  St. 
Michael  holds  a  balance  in  his  hand.  According  to  an 
ancient  legend,  it  was  he  who  appeared  to  our  Blessed 
Lady  to  announce  the  time  of  her  death,  and  conduct  her 
afterwards  to  the  throne  of  her  Divine  Son  in  heaven.  It 
may  interest  the  reader  to  be  told  that  the  old  English  coin 
called  an  angel  received  its  name  from  the  fact  that  St. 
Michael  was  depicted  upon  it  (see  Legends  and  Stories  Illus- 
trated in  Art,  by  Clara  E.  Hemans,  p.  228). 

After  the  priest  has  recited  the  Offertorium  he  proceeds 
without  delay  to  the  Offertory  proper.  The  chalice,  which 
had  stood  up  to  this  time  on  the  corporal  in  the  centre  of 
the  altar,  is  now  uncovered,  and  the  oblation  of  the  Host, 
resting  on  the  paten,  is  made  with  the  following  words  : 
"  Accept,  Holy  Father,  Omnipotent,  Eternal  God,  this  im- 
maculate Host  which  I,  thy  unworthy  servant,  offer  thee,  my 
living  and  true  God,  for  my  innumerable  sins,  offences,  and 
negligences,  and  for  all  who  are  present ;  moreover,  for  all 
faithful  Christians,  living  and  dead,  that  it  may  avail  both 
me  and  them  unto  salvation  and  life  everlasting."  Having 
finished  this  prayer,  the  priest  lowers  the  paten,  and,  having 
made  the  sign  of  the  cross  with  it  over  the  corporal,  places  the 
Host  upon  the  latter,  near  its  anterior  edge,  where  it  re- 
mains until  the  time  of  Communion.3  He  places  the  paten 
itself  at  his  right,  partially  covering  it  with  the  corporal, 
and  lays  the  purificator  over  the  rest  of  it.  At  Solemn 
High  Mass  the  paten  is  not  placed  here,  but  is  wrapped  up 
by  the  subdeacon  in  a  corner  of  the  humeral  veil,  and  held 

8  The  reader  must  not  suppose  that  it  remains  so  undisturbed  until  the  time  of 
Communion.  This  would  not  he  true,  for  at  the  consecration  the  priest  takes  it  in 
his  hands,  and  doe«  so  frequently  afterwards. 

274  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

partially  elevated  by  him  below  near  the  altar-rails  until  the 
end  of  the  "Pater  noster."  This  ceremony  is  intended  to 
preserve  a  vestige  of  a  very  ancient  rite,  the  explanation  of 
which  is  generally  given  as  follows:  For  the  first  six  centuries 
of  the  Christian  Church  it  was  on  the  paten  that  the  Hosts 
used  to  be  consecrated  and  broken,  and  from  it  distributed 
to  the  people  at  Holy  Communion.  This  we  clearly  see 
from  the  words  of  the  Sacramentary  of  Pope  Gregory  the 
Great,  to  wit  :  "  We  consecrate  and  sanctify  this  paten  for 
confecting  in  it  the  Body  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ."  But 
when  this  custom  ceased,  in  order  that  the  paten  might  not 
lie  uselessly  on  the  altar  and  impede  the  operations  of  the 
priest  (for  in  ancient  times,  as  we  have  already  stated  else- 
where, it  was  of  very  large  proportions),  it  used  to  be  given 
in  charge  to  the  subdeacon  until  it  was  needed  again. 
Why  the  subdeacon  held  it  rather  than  any  of  the  other 
ministers  was  to  remind  him  of  his  office,  because  it  was  his 
duty  to  see  always  to  the  bread  of  oblation,  as  may  clearly 
be  understood  from  the  words  addressed  him  at  his  ordina- 
tion ;  and  then,  again,  he  was  more  free  from  this  part  of 
the  Mass  to  the  time  of  Communion  than  any  of  the  rest  in 
the  sanctuary  (see  Romsee,  ii.  32,  note  ;  Catalanus,  Com- 
ment, in  Pontif.  Eomanum;  Muhlbauer,  De  Or  din.  Subd., 
i.  41). 

Regarding  the  expression  "  immaculate  host,"  applied 
here  to  what  is  as  yet  but  mere  bread,  enquiries  are  often 
made  ;  the  answer  to  all  of  which  is  that  the  appellation 
is  given  solely  by  way  of  anticipation  of  what  is  going 
to  take  place  at  consecration.  "  We  do  not  call  the  bread 
and  wine  an  immaculate  host,"  says  Hofmeister,  "but  the 
Body  and  Blood  of  the  Lord  which  they  are  changed  into. 
Therefore,  not  from  what  they  now  are,  but  from  what  they 
are  going  to  be,  are  they  dignified  with  such  a  title  "  (Bona, 
Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  337). 

The  Offertory  proper.  275 

Having  completed  the  oblation  of  the  bread,  the  priest 
takes  the  chalice  in  hand  and  goes  to  the  Epistle  corner  to 
receive  the  wine  and  water  from  the  server.  The  amount  of 
wine  placed  in  the  chalice  on  the  occasion  is,  as  a  general 
rule,  about  as  much  as  would  fill  a  small  wine-glass,  and  the 
water  added  seldom  exceeds  two  or  three  drops.  To  ap- 
proach as  nearly  as  possible  to  the  proper  quantity,  and  have 
an  exact  measure  to  go  by,  it  is  customary  to  use  a  small 
spoon  in  many  places  of  Europe  for  this  purpose.  The  wine 
is  poured  into  the  chalice  without  either  a  blessing  or  a 
prayer  ;  but  as  the  water  is  added  the  priest  makes  the  sign 
of  the  cross  over  it  and  recites  the  following  prayer  in  the 
meantime  :  ' '  0  God  !  who  didst  wonderfully  form  the  sub- 
stance of  human  nature,  and  more  wonderfully  still  regene- 
rate it,  grant  us,  by  the  mystery  of  this  water  and  wine,  to 
be  united  with  the  divinity  of  Him  who  deigned  to  become 
partaker  of  our  humanity,  thy  Son,  Jesus  Christ,  our  Lord, 
who  liveth  and  reigneth  with  thee  in  the  unity  of  the  Holy 
Ghost,  God,  world  without  end.     Amen." 

Liturgical  writers  seem  to  be  unanimous  in  holding  that 
the  literal  reason  for  mixing  a  few  drops  of  water  here  with 
the  wine  is  to  commemorate  what  our  Lord  himself  most 
probably  did  at  the  Last  Supper  ;  for  it  was  always  customary 
in  his  time,  and  the  custom  remains  yet  unchanged  through- 
out the  entire  East,  to  temper  the  wine,  before  drinking  it, 
with  a  little  water.  A  neglect  of  this  was  looked  upon  by 
the  Jews  as  a  great  breach  of  etiquette.4  But  besides  this 
literal  reason  there  are  several  mystical  reasons  for  this  very 
ancient  ceremony.  In  the  first  place,  as  the  prayer  recited 
while  adding  the  water  implies,  it  is  intended  to  remind  us 

4  Bannister,  in  his  Temples  of  the  Hebrews,  p.  2&3,  tells  us  that  water  was  always 
mingled  with  the  wine  at  the  Feast  of  the  Passover,  and  that  the  master  of  the  assem- 
bly offered  a  form  of  thanksgiving  on  the  occasion  by  using  these  words  ■  "  Blessed  b« 
fhou,  O  Lord  J  who  hast  created  the  fruit  of  the  vine." 

276  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

of  the  very  close  union  that  exists  between  ourselves  and  our 
Lord — so  close,  indeed,  that  we  are  said  to  partake  in  a  mea- 
sure of  his  divinity,  as  he  partook  of  our  humanity  and 
became  like  unto  us  in  all  things,  as  the  apostle  says,  sin 
alone  excepted.  Secondly,  this  mixture  recalls  to  mind  the 
blood  and  water  which  issued  from  our  Lord's  side  on  the 
cross  when  pierced  by  the  spear.  Thirdly,  it  has  a  reference, 
according  to  some,  to  Holy  Baptism,  in  virtue  of  which  we 
are  all  regenerated.  .  The  small  quantity  of  water  added  on 
this  occasion  is  said  to  be  intended  as  a  reminder  of  the  few- 
ness of  the  elect  at  the  last  day  (Gavantus,  p.  199). 


It  will  always  remain  a  wonder  to  us  why  the  blessing  of 
the  water  here  has  occasioned  so  much  anxious  enquiry,  and 
given  rise  to  an  almost  interminable  amount  of  discussion, 
when  the  reason  is  so  close  at  hand.  It  is  blessed  here 
simply  because  it  cannot  be  found  by  itself  afterwards. 
The  wine  is  not  blessed  until  immediately  before  the  con- 
secration— that  is,  when  the  priest  makes  the  sign  of  the 
cross  over  it  at  the  word  "benedixit."  It  is  at  this  part 
of  the  Mass  that  the  bread  also  receives  its  special  blessing, 
and  not  at  the  Offertory.  Formerly  the  water  was  not 
blessed  at  this  place — and  is  not  even  now  in  Masses  for 
the  dead — but  was  let  fall  into  the  chalice  in  the  form  of 
a  cross,  a  custom  which  we  see  yet  in  vogue  with  the  Car- 
thusians. The  Carmelites  and  Dominicans  place  the  wine 
and  the  water  in  the  chalice  at  the  beginning  of  Mass ; 
the  Carthusians  put  the  wine  in  at  that  time,  too,  but  not 
the  water  until  the  Offertory.  The  reason  usually  alleged 
for  putting  the  wine  and  water  into  the  chalice  at  this  early 
stage  is  that  sufficient  time  may  be  given  for  the  water  to 
be  converted  into  the  substance  of  the  wine  before  consecra- 

Why  the  Water  is  Blessed  be/ore  Using.  277 

tion  takes  place.  A  rubric  to  this  effect  thus  reads  in  the 
Dominican  Missal  :  "  Tantam  quantitatem  aquae  distillet 
in  calicem,  quse  facillime  tota  possit  in  vinum  converti" — 
"He  drops  as  much  water  into  the  chalice  as  may  very 
easily  be  converted,  in  its  entirety,  into  the  substance  of 
the  wine."  Few  questions  gave  rise  to  more  spirited  argu- 
mentation in  the  middle  ages,  especially  towards  the  latter 
part,  than  that  which  respected  the  mingling  of  the  water 
with  the  wine,  as  here  alluded  to  ;  some  holding  that  the 
water  was  immediately  taken  up  by  the  wine  and  made  part 
of  its  own  substance,  while  others  maintained  that  the 
water  always  remained  as  it  was,  even  after  consecration, 
and  was  not  transubstantiated  at  all,  as  the  wine  was.  Pope 
Innocent  III.  discusses  the  question  at  full  length  in  his 
treatise  on  the  Mass,  but  abstains  from  giving  any  definite  i 
decision  in  the  matter.  According  to  St.  Thomas  Aquinas 
(par.  3.,  quest.  74,  art.  8)  and  St.  Bonaventure  (dis.  ii. 
par.  2,  art.  1,  q.  3),  the  water  is  not  converted  immediately 
into  the  Body  and  Blood  of  our  Lord  in  this  case,  but  me- 
diately only — that  is,  it  is  first  converted  into  wine,  and 
then  both,  as  one  entire  body,  are  transubstantiated.  All 
the  Thomists  and  Scotists  alike  held  this. 

Local  Customs. — The  priests  of  the  Ambrosian  Rite,  in 
pouring  the  water  into  the  chalice,  say  :  "  Out  of  the  side  of 
Christ  there  flowed  blood  and  water  at  the  same  time.  In 
the  name  of  the  Father,  and  of  the  Son,  and  of  the  Holy 
Ghost.  Amen."  The  priests  of  Lyons  Cathedral  say  : 
"From  the  side  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  there  issued 
blood  and  water  at  the  time  of  his  Passion  ;  this  is  a  mys- 
tery of  the  Blessed  Trinity.  John  the  Evangelist  saw  it 
and  bore  witness  of  the  fact,  and  we  know  that  his  testi- 
mony is  true."  In  the  Mozarabic  Eite  the  formula  is  : 
"  From  the  side  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  blood  and  water 
are  said  to  have  flowed ;  and,  therefore,  we  mix  them,  in 

278  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

order  that  the  merciful  God  may  vouchsafe  to  sanctify  both 
for  the  salvation  of  our  souls." 


The  priest,  in  making  this  oblation,  holds  the  chalice  with 
both  hands  raised  before  his  face  while  he  recites  the  fol- 
lowing prayer  :  "We  offer  thee,  0  Lord!  the  chalice  of  sal- 
vation, beseeching  thy  clemency  that  it  may  ascend  in  the 
sight  of  thy  divine  Majesty  with  the  odor  of  sweetness  for 
our  salvation  and  for  that  of  the  whole  world.  Amen." 
He  then  lowers  the  chalice,  and,  placing  it  on  the  corporal 
immediately  behind  the  Host,  covers  it  with  the  pall.  Up 
to  the  fifteenth  century  the  practice  was  very  much  in  vogue 
of  placing  the  chalice  not  behind  the  Host,  as  now,  but  at 
the  right  of  it — that  is,  opposite  the  left  of  the  priest — and 
this  with  a  view  to  catch  the  Precious  Blood,  as  it  were,  as  it 
flowed  from  the  body  of  our  Lord  when  opened  by  the  sol- 
dier's spear.  The  tradition  in  the  Eastern  Church  as  well  as 
the  Western,  has  always  been  that  it  was  our  Lord's  right 
side  that  was  pierced  on  the  cross,  and  not  the  left  (Rock, 
Vhurch  of  Our  Fathers,  i.  261 ;  Translation  of  the  Primitive 
Liturgies,  p.  182,  note  12,  by  ISTeale  and  Littledale).  The 
plural  form  "we  offer"  used  in  this  prayer,  instead  of  the 
singular  "  I  offer,"  is  retained  here,  some  say,  from  Solemn 
High  Mass,  where  the  deacon  touches  the  chalice  with  his 
hand  while  the  celebrant  is  making  its  oblation,  and  thus 
offers  it  conjointly  with  him  (Romsee,  iv.  141).  Others  see 
in  the  retention  of  the  plural  a  special  reference  to  the 
duty  of  the  deacon — viz.,  of  dispensing  the  chalice  to  the 
people  when  the  custom  of  communicating  under  both  spe- 
cies was  in  vogue  (Bona,  Rer.  Liturg.,  p.  338).  And  as  to 
the  retention  of  the  plural  form  when  no  deacon  assists,  as  is 
the  case  in  Low  Mass,  authors  tell  us  that  Pope  Gregory  the 
Great  was  very  fond  of  employing  the  plural  instead  of  the 

Oblation  of  the  Chalice,  271/ 

singular,  and  that  very  likely  he  allowed  this  to  stand  un- 
touched, as  he  did  the  form  "benedicite,  Pater  reverende," 
instead  of  "benedic,  Pater"  (Le  Brun,  Explication  des 
Erie  res  et  des  Ceremonies  de  la  Messe,  ii.  p.  60,  note  a). 

After  the  oblation  of  the  chalice  the  priest  inclines 
slightly,  and,  placing  his  hands  united,  palm  to  palm,  on 
the  altar,  recites  the  following  prayer:  "In  a  spirit  of  hu- 
mility and  with  contrite  heart  may  we  be  received  by  thee,  0 
Lord  !  and  grant  that  the  sacrifice  we  offer  this  day  in  thy 
sight  may  be  pleasing  to  thee,  0  Lord  God  ! "  The  priest 
then  becomes  erect,  and  presently,  raising,  then  lowering 
his  hands,  invokes  the  Holy  Ghost,  saying:  "Come,  0 
Sanctifier,  Omnipotent,  Eternal  God!  and  bless  this  sacrifice 
prepared  to  thy  holy  name."  Upon  saying  "bless"  he 
makes  the  sign  of  the  cross  over  the  Host  and  chalice  con- 
jointly. This  prayer  affords  the  only  instance  in  the  whole 
Mass  where  the  Holy  Ghost  is  invoked  expressly  by  name, 
for  which  reason  some  have  supposed  that  it  is  God  the 
Father  who  is  meant ;  but,  as  Romsee  very  well  says,  we  do 
not  apply  the  term  come  to  the  Father,  but  only  to  God  the 
Son,  or  God  the  Holy  Ghost,  both  of  whom  are  always  sent, 
or  implored  that  they  might  come  ;  but  God  the  Father, 
who  sends  them,  is  never  addressed  in  this  way  (Romsee,  iv. 
p.  146).  In  many  ancient  missals  the  Holy  Ghost  used  to 
be  mentioned  in  this  prayer  expressly,  and  is  so  mentioned 
yet  in  the  Mozarabic  Rite,  where  the  prayer  of  invocation 
thus  begins:  "Come,  0  Holy  Ghost,  Sanctifier!"  etc.  In 
commenting  on  this  prayer  Pope  Benedict  XIV.  says,  in  his 
treatise  on  the  Mass,  that  it  is  addressed  to  the  Third  Per- 
son of  the  Blessed  Trinity,  in  order  that,  as  the  Body  of  our 
Blessed  Lord  was  formed  by  the  power  and  operation  of  this 
Holy  Spirit  in  the  chaste  womb  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  it 
may  be  formed  anew  by  the  same  Spirit  upon  the  altar  of 
God  (Enchiridion  de  Sacrif.  Missa,  p.  53). 

280  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

At  Solemn  High  Mass  incense  is  brought  on  the  altar 
after  this  prayer,  and  the  oblation,  as  well  as  the  altar  it- 
self and  its  ministers,  are  incensed.  Then  follows  the  in- 
censing of  all  in  the  sanctuary,  and,  finally,  of  the  people 
of  the  congregation.  We  have  not  deemed  it  necessary  to 
enter  more  minutely  into  this  ceremony,  as  our  book  is  not  a 
treatise  on  rubrics. 

Having  recited  the  prayer  "Come,  0  Sanctifier!"  the 
priest  goes  to  the  Epistle  corner,  and  there  washes  the 
tips  of  his  fingers — not  of  all  his  fingers,  but  only  of  the 
thumb  and  index-finger  of  each  hand,  as  it  is  these,  and 
these  only,  that  are  allowed  to  touch  the  Blessed  Sacrament, 
for  which  reason  they  are  sometimes  called  the  canoni- 
cal fingers ;  and  it  is  they  which  were  anointed  with  holy 
oil  by  the  bishop  when  the  priest  was  ordained.  While  per- 
forming this  ablution  the  priest  recites  that  portion  of  the 
twenty-fifth  Psalm  which  begins  with  "I  will  wash  my 
hands  among  the  innocents."  Besides  the  literal  reason 
of  this  ablution,  there  is  a  beautiful  mystical  reason  also 
— to  wit,  that  in  order  to  offer  so  tremendous  a  sacrifice 
as  that  in  which  the  victim  is  none  else  than  the  Son  of 
God  himself,  the  priest's  conscience  must  be  free  from  the 
slightest  stain  of  sin.  "This  signifies,"  says  St.  Cyril  ol 
Jerusalem,  in  his  fifth  book  of  Catechesis,  "  that  our  souls 
must  be  purified  from  all  sins  and  wickedness.  For,  as  the 
hands  are  the  instruments  of  action,  the  washing  of  them 
shows  the  purity  of  our  desires."  St.  Germanus  says  to  the 
same  effect:  "The  washing  of  a  priest's  hands  should  re- 
mind him  that  we  must  approach  the  holy  table  with  a  clean 
conscience,  mind,  and  thoughts  (the  hands  of  the  soul), 
with  fear,  meekness,  and  heartfelt  sincerity."  It  is  worth 
noting  here  that  the  priest  does  not  remain  at  the  middle  of 
the  altar  while  washing  his  hands,  but  goes  to  the  Epistle 
corner,  and  this  out  of  respect  for  the  Blessed  Sacrament 

"Orate  Fratres."  281 

enclosed  in  the  tabernacle  and  for  the  crucifix.  In  case  the 
Blessed  Sacrament  should  be  exposed,  to  show  a  still  greater 
degree  of  respect,  he  descends  one  step  at  the  Epistle  side, 
and,  standing  so  as  to  have  his  back  turned  to  the  wall  and 
not  to  the  altar,  performs  the  ablution  there.  The  Church 
is  very  particular  in  all  that  concerns  the  reverence  due  to 
the  Holy  Eucharist. 

Having  performed  this  ablution,  the  priest  returns  to  the 
middle  of  the  altar,  where,  bowing  down  slightly,  he  recites 
fche  following  prayer:  "Beceive,  0  Holy  Trinity!  this  obla- 
tion, which  we  oii'er  thee  in  memory  of  the  passion,  resurrec- 
tion, and  ascension  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ ;  in  honor  of 
Blessed  Mary  ever  Virgin  ;  of  blessed  John  the  Baptist ; 
and  of  the  holy  Apostles  Peter  and  Paul,  of  these  and  of 
all  the  Saints,  that  it  may  tend  to  their  honor  and  to  our 
salvation,  and  that  they  whose  memory  we  celebrate  upon 
earth  may  deign  to  intercede  for  us  in  heaven.  Through 
the  same  Christ  our  Lord.  Amen."  During  the  first  four 
centuries  the  Church  was  very  careful  in  alluding  to  the 
Blessed  Trinity,  for  the  reason  that  she  feared  it  might 
lead  the  pagans  and  infidels  to  suppose  that  she  worshipped 
a  plurality  of  Gods.  She  wisely  abstained,  therefore,  from 
addressing  her  public  prayers  to  any  of  the  three  Divine 
Persons  but  the  Father  only.  This  prayer,  although  not  of 
as  high  antiquity  as  some  of  the  others,  is  yet  very  old,  for 
we  find  it  in  the  so-called  Illyric  Missal,  supposed  to  date  as 
!ar  back  as  the  seventh  century  (Eomsee,  p.  156). 


Having  finished  this  prayer,  the  priest  turns  round  to  the 
congregation  and  salutes  them  with  "Orate  fratre6,"  or 
"  Pray,  brethren,"  which  he  continues  reciting  as  follows : 
"That  my  sacrifice  and  yours  may  be  acceptable  to  God 
the  Father  Almighty."    The  reason  generally  assigned  for 

282  TJie  Celebration  of  Mass. 

only  saying  the  first  two  words  of  this  prayer  in  an  audible 
tone  is  that  the  singers  may  not  be  disturbed  while  going 
through  their  offertorial  pieces  (ibid.)  To  this  prayer  the 
server  answers,  "May  the  Lord  receive  this  Sacrifice  from 
thy  hands,  to  the  praise  and  glory  of  his  name,  for  our  bene- 
fit also,  and  that  of  his  entire  holy  Church."  At  the  end 
the  priest  says  "Amen"  secretly. 

Although  there  should  be  none  but  females  assisting  at  a 
priest's  Mass,  as  is  frequently  the  case  in  convents,  still  the 
form  of  salutation  must  not  be  changed  from  the  masculine 
gender ;  nor  must  any  addition  whatever  be  made  to  it  by 
reason  of  the  attendance  of  the  opposite  sex.  In  ancient 
times,  however,  such  a  change  used  to  be  made  in  some 
places,  for  we  find  that  the  Sarum  Kite  used  to  say,  "  Orate 
fratres  et  sorores" — "Pray,  brethren  and  sisters"  ;  and  the 
form  may  also  be  seen  in  a  Missal  of  Cologne6  edited  in 
the  year  1133. 


Having  said  "Amen"  after  the  server's  response  to  the 
"  Orate  fratres,"  the  priest,  standing  at  the  centre  of  the 
altar,  reads  from  the  missal,  placed  at  his  left  (Gospel  side), 
the  prayers  called  "  Secretas,"  which  always  correspond  in 
number  with  the  collects  read  at  the  beginning  of  Mass.  As 
to  how  the  term  secret  came  to  be  applied  to  these  prayers 
much  diversity  of  opinion  exists.     According  to  some,  this 

*  The  Cathedral  of  Cologne  is  the  finest  specimen  of  Gothic  architecture  in  the 
world.  It  was  begun  in  1248,  and  is  yet  in  process  of  building.  Its  two  massive 
towers  will,  when  completed,  be  each  500  feet  high— that  is,  about  50  feet  higher  than 
St.  Peter's  at  Rome,  and  25  feet  higher  than  the  tower  of  the  great  Cathedral  of  Strass- 
burg,  which  ranks  now  as  the  highest  Structure  in  the  world.  The  Cathedral  of 
Cologne  has  the  rare  privilege  of  possessing  the  skulls  of  the  Magi  who  came  to 
adore  our  Lord  on  Christmas  morning.  They  are  preserved  in  silver  cases  studded 
with  gems,  and  their  names — viz.,  Gaspar,  Melchior,  and  Baltassar— are  wrought  upon 
them  in  rubies. 

Offertory  in  the  Oriental  Cliurch.  283 

name  was  given  them  because  they  were  the  first  prayers  re- 
cited after  the  catechumens  had  been  dismissed  or  set  apart 
(secreti)  from  the  rest  of  the  congregation,  the  Latin  origin 
of  the  word — viz.,  secernere — favoring  this  interpretation. 
Others  say  they  are  so  called  from  the  fact  that  they  are  re- 
cited over  that  part  of  the  offerings  presented  by  the  peo- 
ple, according  to  the  ancient  rite,  which  was  separated  and 
set  aside  from  the  rest  for  altar  purposes.  The  great  weight 
of  authority,  however,  inclines  towards  attributing  their 
name  to  the  fact  that  they  were  recited  secretly — that  is, 
in  a  sort  of  whisper — in  order  not  to  disturb  the  singers, 
who  in  ancient  times  were  stationed  in  the  choir  quite 
close  to  the  altar.  In  order  to  have  as  little  difference 
as  possible  between  one  kind  of  Mass  and  another,  the 
Church  has  allowed  many  things  to  remain  in  Low  Mass 
which  really  had  their  origin  in  High  Mass,  and,  as  we  have 
taken  care  to  state  already,  the  majority  of  Masses  in  the 
early  days  were  of  the  latter  kind  (Komsee,  p.  162  ;  Enchi- 
ridion Sac.  Missm,  ex  Opere  Bened.  XIV.,  p.  55).  At  the  end 
of  the  last  secret  prayer  the  Offertory  is  said,  strictly  speak- 
ing, to  conclude. 


From  what  we  have  said  in  another  place  regarding  the 
singular  care  which  is  taken  by  the  Orientals  in  the  matter 
of  the  sacrificial  oblations,  it  will  be  easy  to  understand  why 
the  custom  so  long  prevalent  in  the  Western  Church — viz., 
of  receiving  bread  and  wine  from  the  people  for  altar  pur- 
poses— never  gained  any  ground  with  them.  The  Orientals 
take  nothing  for  the  holy  Mass  except  what  has  been  first 
prepared  and  presented  by  their  own  clergy.  There  is,  then, 
strictly  speaking,  no  offering  on  the  part  of  the  people  in 
the  Oriental  Church,  but  donations  in  the  shape  of  money 
are  handed  in  for  the  sustenance  of  the  clergy.     "Before 

284  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

they  go  to  the  Prothesis  "  (the  cruet-table),  says  Dr.  Covel, 
"  to  begin  the  liturgy,  all  good  people  who  are  disposed  to 
have  their  absent  friends,  living  or  dead,  commemorated  go 
to  them  that  celebrate  and  get  their  names  set  down— there 
being  two  catalogues,  one  for  the  living,  one  for  the  dead— 
for  which  they  deposit  some  aspers,  or  richer  presents  in 
silver  or  gold,  as  they  are  able  or  disposed,  this  being  a 
great  part  of  the  common  maintenance  of  a  priest,  especially 
in  country  villages  "  (Neale  and  Littledale,  Primitive  Litur- 
gies, p.  186,  note).  This  offering,  then,  takes  place  in  the 
East  at  the  beginning  of  Mass,  at  what  is  called  the  Lit- 
tle Entrance,  or  Introit,  and  there  is  no  offering  whatever 
made  at  the  Offertory  proper. 

Before  we  pass  on  to  the  next  portion  of  the  Mass  we  beg 
to  delay  the  reader  here  a  while,  in  order  to  say  a  few  words 
about  certain  liturgical  appurtenances  that  were  in  quite 
general  use  in  days  gone  by.  We  refer  to  the  Holy  Fan 
{Sacrum  Flabellum),  the  Colum  or  Strainer,  and  the  Comb. 

THE    HOLY    FAN. 

For  quite  a  long  time  the  custom  prevailed  in  the  Western 
Church,  and  we  see  it  continues  yet  in  the  Eastern,  of  em- 
ploying a  fan  at  the  Offertory,  and  up  to  the  end  of  Com- 
munion, for  the  purpose  of  driving  away  flies  and  other 
troublesome  insects  from  the  priest  and  the  sacred  oblation. 
The  charge  of  this  fan  was  entrusted  to  the  deacon,  and  its 
delivery  to  him  at  his  ordination  formed,  in  early  days,  one 
of  the  necessary  things,  and  is  still  so  considered  in  the 
Greek  Rite. 

In  the  ancient  Rite  of  Sarum  these  fans  were  remarkable 
for  the  beauty  and  costliness  of  their  workmanship,  being 
sometimes  made  of  the  purest  silver  and  gold  curiously 
wrought.     In  an  inventory  found  in  the  Cathedral  of  Salis- 

The  Holy  Fan.  285 

bury,  in  1222,  a  fan  of  pure  silver  is  mentioned.  In  the 
great  Cathedral  of  York  there  was  a  precious  fan  which  ex- 
hibited on  one  side  an  enamelled  picture  of  the  bishop  of 
that  see  ( Church  of  Our  Fathers,  iii.  p.  200).  Sometimes 
these  fans  were  made  of  parchment  finely  wrought,  and 
sometimes  again  of  peacock's  feathers.  They  had  a  long 
handle  attached,  which  was,  for  the  most  part,  made  of 
ivory.  Hano,  Bishop  of  Rochester,  gave  a  fan  to  his  cathe- 
dral in  1346  which  was  made  of  precious  silk,  with  an  ivory 
handle  {ibid.) 

The  earliest  definite  account  that  we  have  of  these  fans  is 
that  which  is  furnished  by  the  so-called  Apostolic  Constitu- 
tions. These  give  the  following  directions  concerning  their 
use  :  "  Let  two  deacons  stand  on  both  sides  of  the  altar, 
holding  a  small  fan  made  of  parchment,  peacock's  f eathers> 
or  fine  linen,  and  with  a  gentle  motion  let  them  keep  away 
the  flies,  in  order  that  none  of  them  may  fall  into  the  cha- 
lice "  (Riddle,  Christian  Antiquities,  p.  603). 

We  have"  said  that  the  use  of  the  fan  is  yet  kept  up  by  the 
Orientals  during  divine  service.  That  employed  by  the 
Maronites  is  circular  in  shape,  and  has  a  number  of  little 
bells  round  its  rim.  It  is  generally  made  of  silver  or  brass 
(Church  of  Our  Fathers,  p.  179).  The  Greek  fan— of 
which  Goar  gives  a  full  account,  with  a  print  on  the  opposite 
page,  in  his  Euchol.  Grate,  p.  136 — is  made  in  the  shape  of 
the  winged  face  of  a  cherub.  In  the  Western  Church  fans 
were  symbolic  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  the  flies  and  other 
troublesome  insects  which  the  fan  was  made  to  banish  were 
supposed  to  be  vain  and  distracting  thoughts  (Durandus, 
Rationale  Divinorum,  iv.  p.  35) .  As  the  fan  of  the  Greek 
Church  resembled  a  cherub  in  shape,  its  motion  during  Mass 
symbolized  the  flitting  about  of  these  blessed  spirits  before 
the  throne  of  God  (Prim.  Liturgies,  by  Neale  and  Little- 
dale,  Introduction,  p.  xxix.) 

286  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 


In  order  to  have  the  wine  for  the  service  of  the  altar 
wholly  free  from  all  manner  of  impurity,  it  was  customary 
in  the  early  days  to  pass  it  into  the  chalice  through  a  litur- 
gical appurtenance  called  a  colum,  or  strainer.  This  strainer, 
like  all  the  other  sacred  utensils  used  about  the  altar,  was 
frequently  made  of  the  most  costly  material,  and  was  looked 
upon  as  filling  a  very  important  part  in  the  service  of  the 
Mass.  As  a  general  rule  it  was  made  of  silver,  shaped  like 
a  spoon,  and  perforated  with  a  number  of  very  minute  holes 
through  which  the  pure  wine  was  passed  into  the  chalice  in 
a  filtered  state.  Cardinal  Bona  speaks  at  some  length  of 
these  in  his  fier.  Liturg.,  p.  293. 


Another  ancient  liturgical  utensil,  which  perhaps  w« 
should  have  spoken  of  sooner,  was  the  comb,  employed  foi 
the  purpose  of  keeping  the  celebrant's  hair  in  order  during 
divine  service.  These  were  for  the  most  part  made  of  ivorv, 
but  we  find  them  of  silver  and  gold  very  frequently,  and 
studded  in  many  cases  with  pearls.  The  Cathedral  of  Sens 
has  yet  among  its  ancient  curiosities  a  liturgical  comb  of 
ivory,  with  the  inscription,  "Pecten  sancti  Lupi" — "The 
comb  of  St.  Lupus" — engraved  upon  it.  St.  Lupus  was 
bishop  of  this  place  in  the  year  609,  from  which  we  see  that 
the  comb  is  of  a  very  high  antiquity  ( Church  of  Our  Fa- 
thers, ii.  p.  124). 

The  Cathedral  of  Sarum,  in  England,  had  a  vast  number 
of  ivory  combs  of  this  nature  beautifully  finished ;  and  as 
a  curious  bit  of  information  we  mention  that  among  the 
spoils  carried  away  from  Glastonbury  Abbey  by  the  English 
Nabuchodonosor,  Henry  VIII.,  there  is  mentioned  "  a  combe 

The  Comb.  287 

of  golde,  garnishede  with  small  turquases  and  other  course 
stones"  (Dugdale,  Mon.Ang.,  torn.  i.  p.  63,  from  Dr.  Rock). 

When  the  bishop  officiated  the  deacon  and  subdeacon 
combed  his  hair  as  soon  as  his  sandals  had  been  put  on ; 
when  the  celebrant  was  a  priest  the  office  of  combing  was 
first  performed  for  him  in  the  vestry,  and  then  at  stated 
times  during  Mass.  The  rule  in  this  respect  was  that  when- 
ever the  officiating  minister  stood  up  after  having  been  seat- 
ed for  some  time,  and  took  off  his  cap,  his  hair  was  combed 
before  he  ascended  the  altar.  While  the  process  of  combing 
was  going  on  a  cloth  was  spread  over  the  shoulders  to  pre- 
vent the  sacred  vestments  from  being  soiled. 

Durandus,  who  is  always  ready  with  a  mystic  meaning  for 
everything,  says  that  the  stray  hairs  which  lie  upon  the 
head  now  and  then  are  the  superfluous  thoughts  which 
trouble  us  from  time  to  time  and  hinder  us  from  paying 
the  attention  that  we  ought  to  our  sacred  duties  {Rationale, 
pp.  149,  150). 

The  use  of  the  comb  in  the  Western  Church  is  now  en- 
tirely unknown,  but  it  may  yet  be  seen  in  some  churches  of 
the  East,  for  nearly  all  the  Eastern  clergy  allow  the  beard  to 
grow  freely  down  the  face  after  the  manner  of  the  ancient 
patriarchs  (see  Romanoff,  Rites  and  Customs  of  the  Greco- 
Russian  Church,  p.  401),  for  which  reason  combing  be- 
comes frequently  necessary  in  order  to  present  a  neat  and 
becoming  appearance. 




At  the  end  of  the  last  secret  prayer  the  priest  raises  his 
voice  and  says,  "Per  omnia  saecula  sseculorum, :'  to  which 
the  server  answers,  "Amen."  He  then  says,  "  Dominus  vo- 
biscum," without,  however,  turning  to  the  people,  and  now 
enters  upon  the  Preface,  so  called  because  it  is,  as  it  were, 
a  preparation  for  the  most  solemn  part  of  the  whole  Mass — • 
viz.,  the  Canon.  The  reason  why  the  priest  does  not  turn 
round  to  the  people  at  this  place  when  he  says  "  Dominus 
vobiscum "  is  founded  on  that  ancient  custom  which  once 
prevailed  in  the  West,  and  still  continues  in  the  East,  of 
drawing  aside  the  sanctuary  curtains  so  as  to  hide  the  altar 
from  the  congregation  the  moment  the  Preface  began.  As 
there  were  no  persons  in  sight  then  to  salute,  it  was  not 
deemed  necessary  to  turn  round,  and  a  vestige  of  this  ancient 
practice  is  here  kept  up  (Kozma,  p.  193). 

After  the  "  Dominus  vobiscum "  the  priest  raises  his 
hands  aloft  and  says,  "  Sursum  corda" — "  Your  hearts  up- 
wards ";  that  is,  "  Lift  your  thoughts  to  heaven  " — to  which 
the  server  responds,  "We  have  lifted  them  up  to  the  Lord." 
The  "  Sursum  corda"  is,  no  doubt,  taken  from  the  Lamen- 
tations of  Jeremias  (iii.  41),  and  is  found  in  all  the  litur- 
gies of  the  East  and  West.  The  solemn  motion  of  the 
priest's  hands,  as  he  raises  them  on  high  while  pronounc- 
ing  this  sacred  admonition,  is  aptly  compared  by  several 

Antiquity  of  the  Preface.  289 

liturgical  writers  to  the  outspreading  wings  of  a  dove  when 
going  to  fly,  and  forcibly  recalls  to  mind  that  beautiful  say- 
ing of  King  David,  "  Who  will  give  me  the  wings  of  a  dove, 
and  I  will  fly  and  be  at  rest  ?"  (Ps.  liv.)  After  the  "  Sur- 
sum  corda"  the  priest  says,  "  Gratias  agamus  Domino  Deo 
nostro" — "  Let  us  return  thanks  to  the  Lord  our  God"— 
to  which  the  server  answers,  "  Dignum  et  justum  est " — 
"  It  is  meet  and  just."  The  priest  then  enters  on  the  Pre- 
face proper,  and  continues  reciting  it  to  the  end  without  fur- 
ther interruption. 

The  question  is  sometimes  asked,  Where  does  the  Preface 
really  begin  ?  Strictly  speaking,  not  till  the  "Sursum  cor- 
da," for  the  "  Per  omnia  ssecula  saeculorum"  belongs  to  the 
conclusion  of  the  last  secret  prayer,  and  the  "Dominus  vo- 
biscum  "  is  a  salutation  to  the  people  ;  but  as  all  our  missals 
begin  the  Preface  at  the  "  Per  omnia  saecula  saeculorum,"  it 
is  well  that  this  should  be  considered  its  true  beginning. 

In  the  Mozarabic  Liturgy  the  Preface  is  called  the  Inlatio, 
or  Inference,  from  the  fact,  as  Cardinal  Bona  conjectures, 
that  the  priest  infers  from  the  responses  of  the  people  that  it 
is  meet  and  just  to  give  thanks  to  the  Lord.  In  some  ancient 
manuscripts  it  is  called  the  Immolation,  for  the  reason  that 
it  is,  as  it  were,  an  introduction  to  that  most  sacred  part 
of  the  Mass  where  Christ  our  Lord,  the  Immaculate  Lamb, 
is  newly  immolated  as  on  Calvary  of  old. 


The  use  of  the  Preface  in  the  Mass  is,  according  to  the 
best  authorities,  of  apostolic  origin.  For  quite  a  long  time 
it  was  customary  to  have  a  special  one  for  every  feast  that 
occurred,  so  that  the  number  was  once  very  great.  Ac- 
cording to  Neale,  as  many  as  two  hundred  and  forty  are 
yet  preserved. 

290  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

In  the  Mozarabic  Kite  there  is  still  a  proper  Preface  foi 
every  Sunday  and  festival ;  and  the  Ambrosians,  or  Milanese, 
have  a  different  one  every  day  in  the  week  (Neale,  Holy 
Eastern  Church,  i.  p.  467).  Towards  the  eleventh  century 
the  Eoman  Church  reduced  the  entire  number  to  nine,  to 
which  two  others  were  subsequently  added,  making  in  all 
eleven,  which  is  the  number  of  distinct  Prefaces  that  we 
use  to-day.  Their  names  are  as  follows  :  1st,  the  Preface 
of  the  Nativity,  or  Christmas  day  ;  2d,  the  Preface  of  the 
Epiphany,  or  6th  of  January  ;  3d,  the  Preface  of  Quadra- 
gesima, or  Lent ;  4th,  the  Preface  of  the  Cross  and  Pas- 
sion ;  5th,  the  Preface  of  Easter  Sunday ;  6th,  the  Preface 
of  the  Ascension  ;  7th,  the  Preface  of  Pentecost ;  8th,  the 
Preface  of  the  Blessed  Trinity;  9th,  the  Preface  of  the 
Blessed  Virgin  ;  10th,  the  Preface  of  the  Apostles ;  11th, 
the  Preface  of  the  Common. 

Preface  of  the  Blessed  Trinity. — It  is  admitted  by  all 
that  this  Preface  is  a  masterpiece  of  composition.  It  read* 
very  like  a  work  of  inspiration,  and  is,  as  far  as  its  theology 
goes,  the  most  profound  of  the  eleven.  We  subjoin  a  trans- 
lation of  it  in  full,  but  we  beg  to  remind  the  reader  that  to 
be  fully  appreciated  it  must  be  read  in  its  original  tongue, 
the  Latin.  When  rendered  into  English  much  of  its  sub- 
limity is  lost :  "It  is  truly  meet  and  just,  right  and  salu- 
tary, that  we  should  always,  and  in  all  places,  give  than  ks 
to  thee,  0  Holy  Lord,  Father  omnipotent,  Eternal  God, 
who,  together  with  thy  Only-Begotten  Son  and  the  Holy 
Ghost,  art  one  God  and  one  Lord  ;  not  in  the  singularity  of 
one  Person,  but  in  a  Trinity  of  one  substance.  For  what 
we  believe  of  thy  glory  as  thou  hast  revealed,  the  same  we 
believe  of  thy  Son  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  without  any 
difference  or  distinction.  So  that  in  the  confession  of  the 
True  and  Eternal  Deity  we  adore  a  distinction  in  the 
Persons,  a  unity  in  the  Essence,  an  equality  in  the  Majesty. 

Prefaces  of  the  Blessed  Trinity  and  of  the  B.  F.  M.     291 

Whom  the  Angels  and  Archangels  praise,  the  Cherubim 
also  and  the  Seraphim,  who  without  ceasing  cry  out  daily 
with  one  accord,  Holy,  holy,  holy,  Lord  God  of  Hosts. 
Heaven  and  earth  are  full  of  thy  glory.  Hosanna  in  the 
highest !  Blessed  be  he  who  cometh  in  the  name  of  the 
Lord  !  Hosanna  in  the  highest ! "  Looking  at  this  Preface 
from  a  theological  point  of  view,  it  would  appear  that  some 
of  its  phraseology  must  have  been  changed  subsequent  to 
the  General  Council  of  Nicaea,  held  in  the  year  325,  for  it  is  a 
well-known  fact  that,  prior  to  that  period,  the  Church,  as 
we  have  already  intimated  in  another  place,  wisely  abstained 
from  giving  too  much  publicity  to  her  doctrine  concerning 
the  exact  relations  existing  between  the  three  Persons  of  the 
Adorable  Trinity.  She  declared,  it  is  true,  by  her  solemn 
definition  against  Arius  at  the  above-mentioned  council, 
that  the  Son  of  God  was  homoousios — that  is,  consubstantial 
with  the  Father  ;  but  it  was  not  until  nine  hundred  years 
and  more  had  passed  away  that  she  openly  defined  as  de 
fide  Catholica  that  the  unity  of  the  Godhead  was  a  numeri- 
cal unity,  and  not  a  generic  or  specific  unity,  as  the  writ- 
ings of  many  of  the  ancient  Fathers  would  be  apt  to  lead 
one  to  suppose.  "Not  till  the  thirteenth  century,"  says 
Dr.  Newman,  "  was  there  any  direct  and  distinct  avowal  on 
the  part  of  the  Church  of  the  numerical  unity  of  the 
Divine  Nature,  which  the  language  of  some  of  the  principal 
Greek  Fathers,  prima  facie,  though  not  really,  denies " 
(University  Sermons,  p.  324).  The  cause  that  led  to  the 
definition  of  this  numerical  unity  in  the  thirteenth  century 
; — that  is,  at  the  fourth  Council  of  Lateran,  A.D.  1215 — was 
the  opposite  teaching  of  the  Abbot  Joachim  (Dublin  Re- 
view, 1845,  "Difficulties  of  the  Ante-Nicene  Fathers"). 

The  Preface  of  the  Blessed  Virgin.— This  is  called  the 
Miraculous  Preface  ;  for,  as  the  story  goes,  the  greater  part 
was  miraculously  put  in  the  mouth  of  Pope  Urban  II,  as  he 

292  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

was  one  day  singing  High  Mass  in  the  Church  of  our 
Blessed  Lady  at  Placentia.  He  began  by  chanting  the 
Common  Preface,  but  when  he  had  come  to  that  part  where 
the  Prefaces  generally  turn  off  to  suit  the  occasion  he  heard 
angels  above  him  singing  as  follows  :  "  Who,  by  the  over- 
shadowing of  the  Holy  Ghost,  conceived  thine  Only- Begotten 
Son,  and,  the  glory  of  her  virginity  still  remaining  intact, 
brought  into  the  world  the  Eternal  Light,  Christ  Jesus,  our 
Lord."  The  holy  pontiff  caused  these  words  to  be  after- 
wards inserted  in  the  Common  Preface  at  the  council  held 
in  the  above  place  in  1095,  and  for  this  reason  the 
Preface  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  is  ascribed  to  him  (Ferraris, 
BiUiotheca;  Bona,  p.  341;  Merati,  Thesaur.  Sacr.Bit.,j>.94:). 
A  custom  once  prevailed  in  many  places  of  bowing  solemn- 
ly to  the  ground  at  the  words,  "  Adorant  dominationes. " 
There  was  a  rubric  to  this  effect  in  a  Eoman  ordo  of  the 
eighth  century,  composed  for  the  use  of  monasteries  (Mar- 
tene,  De  Antiq.  Bed  Bit.,  f.  31). 


All  the  Prefaces  terminate  with  the  "  Holy,  holy,  holy, 
Lord  God  of  Hosts,"  etc.  This  is  called  the  triumphal 
hymn,  sometimes  the  seraphic,  and  is  taken  from  Isaias,  vi. 
3  ;  St.  John  also  mentions  it  in  the  fourth  chapter  of  his 
Apocalypse.  The  Mozarabics  recite  the  termination  of  the 
Preface — that  is,  the  "Holy,  holy,  holy,"  etc. — in  Greek  as 
well  as  in  Latin. 

At  Solemn  High  Mass,  as  the  reader  knows,  the  Preface  is 
chanted  throughout  by  the  celebrant.  The  music  is  of  the 
simplest  kind  of  plain  chant,  but  very  soul-stirring.  We 
have  shown  in  our  chapter  on  "Church  Music"  how  deeply 
affected  some  of  the  ancient  Fathers  used  to  be  when  sing- 
ing this  part  of  the  Mass,  and  what  abundance  of  tears  its 
celestial  melody  often  drew  from  their  hearts.     The  chant 

Prefaces  of  the  Oriental  Church,  293 

used  at  Lyons  and  Milan  differs  a  little  from  ours,  as  does 
also  the  Mozarabic,  but  the  same  divine  fascination  is  in- 
herent in  all  of  them. 


The  Orientals  have  no  variety  of  Preface  at  all.  Every 
liturgy  has  one  peculiar  to  itself,  and  this  is  employed  the 
whole  year  round  without  any  change  whatever.  It  is 
called  by  the  Easterns  the  Anaphora  (although  this  word 
also  includes  the  Canon  of  the  Mass),  and  begins  and  ends 
almost  precisely  like  our  own.  According  to  a  ritual  of 
Gabriel,  Patriarch  of  Alexandria,  directions  are  given  to  the 
priest  to  make  the  sign  of  the  cross  three  different  times  at 
the  "Sursum  corda"  :  first,  upon  himself;  secondly,  upon 
the  attending  deacons ;  and,  thirdly,  upon  the  congregation 
(Renaudot,  i.  p.  206).  In  the  East,  as  well  as  in  the  West 
with  ourselves,  it  is  customary  to  stand  up  always  the  mo- 
ment this  portion  of  the  Mass  begins,  and  this  as  a  testi- 
mony of  the  great  respect  that  is  due  it.  At  Low  Mass, 
however,  the  rule  is  to  remain  kneeling. 

The  Greeks  call  the  "Holy,  holy,  holy,"  etc.,  the  Tri- 
umphal Hymn,  as  we  do.  The  "  Gloria  in  excelsis "  they 
call  the  Angelic  Hymn.  Their  Trisagion,  or  Thrice  Holy, 
which  we  recite  on  Good  Friday,  and  of  which  we  have 
given  a  full  history  already,  is  that  which  begins  with 
"Holy  God,  Holy  Strong  One,  Holy  Immortal  One."  They 
have  another  hymn,  called  the  Cherubic,  which  they  recite 
in  the  Mass  soon  after  the  expulsion  of  the  catechumens. 
It  is  worded  as  follows  :  "  Let  us,  who  mystically  represent 
the  Cherubim,  and  sing  the  Holy  Hymn  to  the  Life-giving 
Trinity,  lay  by  at  this  time  all  worldly  cares,  that  we  may 
receive  the  King  of  glory  invisibly  attended  by  the  angelic 
orders.     Alleluia,  alleluia,  alleluia." 

In  the  Ethiopic  Liturgy  four  archangels  are  particularized 

#94  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

in  the  Preface — viz.,  Michael,  Gabriel,  Raphael,  and  Suriel, 
or,  as  he  is  more  commonly  styled,  Uriel.  The  Syriac 
Liturgy  of  Philoxenus  mentions  the  celestial  spirits  after  a 
somewhat  singular  manner,  thus  :  "The  jubilees  of  Angels  ; 
the  songs  of  Archangels  ;  the  lyres  of  Powers  ;  the  pure  and 
grateful  voices  of  Dominations  ;  the  clamors  of  Thrones ; 
the  thunders  of  Cherubim  ;  and  the  swift  motion  of  Sera- 
phim." Immediately  before  the  conclusion  of  the  Preface 
in  the  Liturgy  of  St.  Chrysostom  mention  is  made  of  the 
celestial  spirits  as  singing  (adovra),  bellowing  (pocovra), 
crying  (xsxpayora),  and  speaking  (Xeyovra).  According 
to  some  Oriental  commentators,  the  four  Evangelists  are 
here  mystically  represented.  The  singing  with  a  loud  voice 
alludes  to  St.  John,  who,  on  account  of  the  lofty  flight  of  his 
genius,  is  aptly  compared  to  the  eagle,  and  is  generally  repre- 
sented in  art  with  this  bird  by  his  side.  The  bellowing  re- 
fers to  St.  Luke,  who,  on  account  of  his  setting  forth  the 
priesthood  of  our  Lord  so  conspicuously,  has  been  always 
represented  by  an  ox,  the  symbol  of  sacrifice.  By  the  crying 
or  roaring  like  a  lion  St.  Mark  is  meant,  as  he  is  said  to  be 
pre-eminently  the  historian  of  our  Lord's  resurrection  ;  and 
an  Eastern  tradition  has  it  that  young  lions  are  born  dead  and 
are  brought  to  life  after  three  days  (the  time  our  Saviour  was 
in  the  grave)  by  the  roaring  of  their  sire.  And  by  the  speak- 
ing— that  is,  like  a  man — St.  Matthew  is  meant,  on  account 
of  his  dwelling  so  much  on  the  human  nature  of  our  Lord. 
In  art  he ,  is  generally  represented  by  the  figure  of  a  cherub, 
which  is  supposed  to  resemble  a  human  being  so  much  (Neale, 
Holy  Eastern  Church,  i.  p.  470  ;  Symbolism  in  Art,  by  Clara 
E.  Clement,  p.  18  ;  also  St.  Jerome  on  the  Four  Evangelists). 
At  the  conclusion  of  the  Preface  the  little  sanctuary  bell 
is  rung  to  remind  the  people  of  the  approach  of  the  most 
solemn  part  of  the  Mass,  in  order  that  their  attention  may 
be  fixed  upon  it  more  earnestly. 




We  have  now  come  to  the  most  sacred  portion  of  the 
entire  Mass — sacred  by  reason  of  its  great  antiquity,  for  it 
carries  us  away  back  to  the  days  of  the  apostles ;  and  doubly 
sacred  because  it  contains  those  blessed  words  uttered  by  our 
Divine  Redeemer  at  the  Last  Supper,  in  virtue  of  which  the 
bread  and  wine  are  changed  into  his  own  Body  and  Blood. 
For  the  latter  reason  alone  the  Canon  should  be  treated  of 
on  bended  knees. 


The  word  Canon,  from  the  Greek  xarGjv,  was  used 
in  a  variety  of  senses  by  ancient  authors.  Originally  it 
meant  a  rule  or  contrivance  by  which  other  things  were  kept 
straight ;  but  in  a  secondary  sense  it  was  variously  applied 
according  to  the  nature  of  the  case,  always,  however,  pre- 
serving the  idea  inherent  in  its  original  meaning.  In  ar- 
chitecture it  was  the  plumb-line  or  level ;  in  weights  and, 
measures  it  was  the  tongue  of  the  balance ;  in  chronology 
it  was  the  chief  epoch  or  era ;  in  music  it  was  the  mono- 
chord,  or  basis  of  all  the  intervals ;  and  when  applied  in  a 
literary  sense  it  served  to  designate  those  writings  which 
were  to  be  distinguished  from  all  others  by  the  elegance  and 
excellence  of  their  diction.  The  Doruphoros  of  Polycletus 
was  called  by  this  name,  and  for  this  reason  also  the  select 


296  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

extracts  of  many  of  the  ancient  Greek  authors  (Miiller,  Ar- 
chdol  d.  Kunst,  §  120,  4 ;  liuhnken,  Hist.  Grit.  Orat.  Grcec.  j 
Quintilian,  List.  Rhet.,  10).  To  this  last  acceptation  of  the 
word  the  Canon  of  the  Mass  has  a  thousand  claims,  for 
all  admit  that  it  is  a  work  of  rare  worth — in  fact,  a  model 
of  perfection ;  for  which  reason,  to  pass  over  many  others,  it 
used  to  be  formerly  written  in  letters  of  gold  (Martene,  De 
Antiquis  Eccl.  Bit.,  f.  34).  Many  writers,  however,  say  that 
it  is  called  the  Cation  because  of  its  unchangeable  nature ; 
but  to  our  mind  this  has  never  seemed  a  good  reason,  nor 
is  it  strictly  true.  The  Canon  does  change  on  some  oc- 


So  careful  is  the  Church  to  prevent  innovations  from  en- 
tering into  this  part  of  the  Mass  that  she  forbids  any  one  to 
meddle  with  it  under  pain  of  incurring  her  most  severe  cen- 
sures. She  will  not  even  permit  a  correction  to  be  made  in 
it  for  fear  of  destroying  its  antiquity.  We  shall  mention  a 
few  cases  in  point.  It  is  a  well-known  fact  that  the  Canon 
terminates  at  the  "Pater  noster";  yet  we  find  the  word 
Canon  printed  in  every  missal  from  the  first  prayer,  or 
"Te  igitur,"  to  the  end  of  the  Gospel  of  St.  John.  This 
is  evidently  a  printer's  blunder  ;  but  because  it  is  of  a  very 
ancient  date  the  Church  has  allowed  it  to  stand,  and  printers 
to  the  Holy  See  are  strictly  forbidden  to  change  it  in  print- 
ing new  missals.  A  still  more  striking  instance  is  the  fol- 
lowing: As  far  back  as  the  year  1815,  when  devotion  to  St. 
Joseph,  the  spouse  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  and  foster-father  of 
our  Divine  Lord,  was  making  rapid  headway,  the  Sacred  Con- 
gregation of  Rites  was  earnestly  besought  to  grant  permission 
to  add  the  name  of  this  venerable  patriarch  to  this  part  of 
the  Mass,  one  of  the  reasons  assigned  for  making  the  request 

The  Canon — its  Antiquity,  former  Names,  etc,       297 

being  that  many  persons  had  a  particular  devotion  to  him. 
The  request  was  not  granted,  the  reply  to  the  petition  being 
negative;  and  this  was  denominated  a  response  urbis  et 
orbis — that  is,  one  binding  in  Eome  and  everywhere  else. 


That  the  Canon  is  of  very  great  antiquity  all  writers  and 
critics  admit.  The  precise  date  at  which  it  was  composed, 
and  who  its  real  author  was,  still  remain  among  the  dis- 
puted questions.  Certain  it  is,  however,  that  a  hand  has 
not  touched  it  since  the  time  of  Pope  Gregory  the  Great — 
that  is,  since  the  early  part  of  the  seventh  century — and 
what  that  pontiff  added  to  it  was  so  very  little  that  we 
would  be  almost  justified  in  saying  that  it  takes  us  back,  in 
its  present  form,  to  those  days  in  the  past  when  we  could 
converse  with  men  who  spoke  face  to  face  with  our  Divine 
Lord  himself  and  his  blessed  apostles.  The  Church  pos- 
sesses nothing  more  venerable  than  this  sacred  memorial. 


The  Canon  was  known  in  early  times  by  a  variety  of 
names.  Pope  Gregory  the  Great  always  called  it  the  Prayer; 
by  St.  Cyprian  it  was  styled  the  Oration ;  by  St.  Ambrose, 
the  Ecclesiastical  Rule;  and  by  St.  Basil,  the  Secret.  To 
indicate  its  great  excellence,  many  of  the  ancient  Fathers 
called  it  the  Action,  and  we  see  this  word  yet  retained  as 
the  heading  of  the  prayer  "  Communicantes." 


That  the  Canon  formerly  included  the  Preface,  just  as  it 
does  to-day  in  the  Oriental  Church,  we  have  the  most  in- 
dubitable proofs.  In  the  Sacramentary  of  Pope  Gelasius, 
for  instance,  it  is  thus  introdn^  '  "Incipit  canon  actionis; 

298  Tlie  Celebration  of  Mast. 

Sursum  corda ;  habemus  ad  Dominium"  etc.  (Le  Brun,  Ex* 
plieat.  de  la  Messe,  ii.  p.  Ill,  note). 


Out  of  the  great  respect  that  is  due  to  this  most  solemn 
portion  of  the  Mass,  as  well  as  to  secure  the  utmost  recol- 
lection on  the  part  of  the  priest  and  people,  it  has  been  cus- 
tomary from  time  immemorial  to  recite  it  throughout  in 
secret.  Another  reason,  too,  that  is  often  given  for  this 
laudable  practice  is  that  the  sacred  words  may  be  kept  from 
becoming  too  common — a  thing  which  could  hardly  be  avoid- 
ed if  they  were  read  in  a  tone  audible  to  all ;  for,  inasmuch 
as  the  Canon  seldom  changes,  the  same  words  would  be  heard 
upon  every  occasion,  and  in  process  of  time  thoughtless  per- 
sons would  have  committed  them  to  memory,  and  perhaps 
might  use  them  in  common  parlance,  to  the  great  disedifica- 
tion  of  our  holy  religion.  (For  a  very  low  misapplication 
of  the  sacred  words  of  institution,  which  originally  took  rise 
in  the  way  we  are  speaking  of,  the  reader  is  referred  to 
Disraeli's  Amenities  of  Literature.) 

A  very  singular  story  touching  the  silence  observed  in 
reciting  the  Canon  is  related  in  the  Spiritual  Meadow,  a 
book  written  about  the  year  630  by  a  holy  recluse  named 
John  Moschus.  The  book  received  the  encomiums  of  the 
Fathers  of  the  seventh  General  Council,  held  at  Nicaea  m 
787,  and  it  therefore  carries  some  authority  with  it.  It  is 
therein  stated  that  a  party  of  boys  guarding  flocks  in 
Apamea,  in  Syria,  took  it  into  their  heads  one  day  to  while 
away  a  portion  of  their  time  by  going  through  the  cere- 
monies of  Mass.  One  acted  as  celebrant,  another  as  deacon, 
and  a  third  as  subdeacon.  All  went  along  pleasantly,  as 
the  story  relates,  until  he  who  personated  the  celebrant  pro- 
nounced the  sacred  words  of  consecration,  when  suddenly  a 

Manner  of  Reading  the  Canon,  299 

ball  of  fire,  rapid  and  fierce  as  a  meteor,  fell  down  from 
heaven,  and  so  stunned  the  boys  that  they  fell  prostrate  on 
the  ground.  When  this  singular  occurrence  was  afterwards 
related  to  the  bishop  of  the  place,  he  went  to  examine  the 
spot,  and,  having  learned  all  the  particulars  of  the  case, 
caused  a  church  to  be  built  thereon  to  commemorate  so 
remarkable  an  event.  From  this  circumstance,  it  is  said, 
the  Church  derives  her  custom  of  reciting  the  Canon  in 
secret.  Be  this  as  it  may,  the  ablest  liturgical  writers 
maintain  that  the  Canon  has  been  recited  in  secret  from  its 
very  institution  (Romsee,  iv.  p.  175). 

As  a  precedent  for  this  solemn  silence  many  examples 
may  be  adduced  from  Holy  Writ.  On  the  great  day  of 
Atonement,  for  instance,  while  the  high-priest  was  offering 
incense  to  Jehovah  on  the  golden  altar,  a  deep  silence  pre- 
vailed throughout  the  entire  temple,  and  all  the  people  re- 
cited their  prayers  in  secret.  To  this  solemn  silence  St. 
John  evidently  alludes  when  he  says  that  at  the  opening  of 
the  seventh  seal  "there  was  silence  in  heaven,  as  it  were 
for  half  an  hour  "  (Apoc.  viii.  1).  Mention  is  also  made  of 
it  in  the  Mishna  in  describing  the  "  drink  offering "  : 
"  Then  came  the  time  of  the  drink  offering,  when,  having 
given  him  the  wine  of  which  it  consisted,  the  Sagan,1  who 
stood  beside  the  horn  of  the  altar,  observed  the  time  for 
pouring  it  out,  and  with  a  napkin  gave  the  signal  for  the 
music  to  begin.  The  reason  of  their  being  so  long  was  that 
the  perfect  sacrifice  might  be  before  God,  and  that  silence 
best  suited  so  solemn  a  duty  "  (Bannister,  Temples  of  th$ 
Hebrews,  pp.  211,  329  ;  see  also  Habacuc,  ii.  20). 

1  The  Sagan,  though  not  mentioned  by  name  in  the  Holy  Scriptures,  was  neverthless 
looked  upon  as  a  very  important  minister  by  the  Jews,  for  it  was  he  who  discharged  the 
duties  of  the  high-priest  whenever  the  latter,  through  any  indisposition  or  le""1  defile- 
ment, was  unable  to  act  (Bannister,  p.  190). 

300  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 


In  all  the  missals  of  the  present  day  a  picture  represent- 
ing our  Lord  crucified,  and  gazed  at  in  sorrowful  contem- 
plation by  the  three  Marys — viz.,  Mary  of  Cleophas,  Mary 
Magdalene,  and  Mary  the  Mother  of  God — is  inserted,  in 
order  to  recall  vividly  to  the  mind  of  the  priest  that,  at  this 
most  solemn  part  of  the  Mass,  he  should  be  wholly  intent 
on  his  crucified  Kedeemer.  That  the  practice  of  inserting 
a  picture  here  is  very  ancient  may  be  seen  from  several  early 
manuscripts,  and  almost  every  liturgist  of  note  refers  to  it. 
Honorius  of  Autun,  who  flourished  towards  the  beginning 
of  the  twelfth  century,  thus  writes  of  it :  i i  Hie  in  libris 
crucifixum  ideo  depingitur  quia  per  illud  passio  Christi 
oculis  cordis  ingeritur"  {Gemma  Animce,  cap.  103,  "  De 
Canone  ") — that  is,  Here  a  crucifix  is  painted  in  the  missals, 
in  order  that  by  it  the  Passion  of  Christ  may  be  fixed  in  the 
eyes  of  the  heart.  Pope  Innocent  III.  also  alludes  to  the 
practice,  and  dwells  particularly  on  the  striking  coincidence 
that  the  very  first  prayer  of  the  Canon  begins  with  one  of 
the  ancient  representations  of  the  cross — viz.,  the  letter  T. 
In  many  early  missals  this  letter  was  beautifully  illuminated 
and  made  very  large,  in  order  that  the  eye  of  the  priest 
might  rest  upon  it,  and,  in  doing  so,  that  he  might  remem- 
ber the  mysterious  Thau  of  the  prophet  Ezechiel,  which 
was  ordered  to  be  made  on  the  foreheads  of  the  men  "  that 
sigh  and  mourn  for  all  the  abominations  that  are  committed 
in  the  midst."  In  Leofric's  Missal,  of  Anglo-Saxon  times, 
this  letter  is  splendidly  illuminated  in  gold,  and  so  very  long 
that  it  nearly  stretches  the  whole  length  of  the  page.  In  a 
folio  vellum  copy  of  the  Salisbury  Missal,  which  was  written 
towards  the  middle  of  the  fourteenth  century,  the  letter  is 
so  drawn  out  as  to  hold  within  it  an  illuminated  picture  of 
Abraham  about  to  sacrifice  his  only  son,  Isaac  ( Church  of 
Our  Fathers,  i.  p.  103). 

"  Te  Igitur."  301 

In  many  churches  the  custom  prevailed  of  kissing  the 
picture  at  the  beginning  of  the  Canon,  when  the  priest 
came  to  that  part,  and  at  Milan,  where  the  Ambrosian  Rite 
is  kept  up,  the  custom  is  in  vogue  of  washing  the  hands 

While  reciting  the  opening  words  of  this  prayer  the 
priest  is  profoundly  inclined,  with  hands  resting  upon  the 
altar;  but  when  he  comes  to  the  words,  "  these  gifts,  these 
presents,  these  holy  and  unspotted  sacrifices,"  he  becomes 
erect  and  makes  three  crosses  over  the  oblation.  The 
crosses  made  at  this  place  now  more  strongly  than  ever  re- 
mind us  that  we  are  fast  approaching  that  solemn  moment 
at  which  He  who  wrought  our  salvation  on  the  cross  of  Cal- 
vary will  be  present  on  our  altar.  The  reader  who  wishes 
to  see  their  various  mystic  interpretations  will  do  well  to 
consult  Durandus  [Rationale  Divin.,  p.  241).  The  literal 
meaning  of  these  three  crosses  is,  according  to  De  Vert 
(Explic.  Rub.  Miss.,  tome  iii.  p.  1,  rub.  122),  founded  on  a 
very  ancient  custom  yet  in  vogue  with  the  members  of  the 
Carthusian  Order — viz.,  of  making  two  equal  divisions  of  the 
Hosts  used  for  Communion,  and  placing  one  on  each  side  of 
the  large  Host.  When  the  breads  were  so  arranged  the 
priest  would  make  a  separate  cross  over  each  portion  and 
over  the  large  Host  placed  in  the  centre,  thus  forming 
three  crosses  in  all.  Although  this  custom  went  into  desue- 
tude soon  after  its  introduction,  De  Vert  still  maintains  that 
the  three  crosses  have  been  retained  as  a  vestige  of  it. 

There  was  great  diversity  of  usage  in  former  times  about 
the  number  of  crosses  made  here,  as  may  be  seen  from 
some  of  the  ancient  sacramentaries.  In  the  G-allican  there 
was  but  one  cross  prescribed.  In  the  Gelasian  there  were  as 
many  as  five,  and  these,  it  is  supposed,  in  memory  of  the 

302  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

Five  Wounds.  So  great  was  the  diversity  of  practice  in  this 
matter  that  St.  Boniface,  the  Apostle  of  Germany,  wrote  for 
advice  upon  the  subject  to  Pope  Zachary  (741  to  752),  and 
received  a  response  to  the  effect  that  wherever  a  cross  was 
required  to  be  made  it  would  be  marked  for  him  in  the 
Canon.  According  to  Romsee,  whenever  there  is  but  one 
cross  it  signifies  the  unity  of  the  Divine  Essence  ;  when 
two  are  made,  the  duality  of  natures  in  our  Divine  Lord  is 
signified ;  three  crosses  are  typical  of  the  Blessed  Trinity, 
and  five  of  the  Five  Wounds  (iv.  p.  180). 

In  the  first  prayer  of  the  Canon  the  priest  prays  for  the 
Universal  Church  at  large,  and  for  its  visible  head  upon 
earth,  the  Supreme  Pontiff,  by  name ;  then  for  the  bishop 
of  the  diocese  in  which  he  is  celebrating  ;  and,  finally,  for 
all  the  orthodox  upholders  of  the  Catholic  Faith.  In  men- 
tioning the  reigning  Pope  he  gives  him  the  first  part  of  his 
official  title,  without  adding  anything  else  to  particularize 
him — thus,  "Pius,"  "Gregory,"  "Leo,"  or  whatever  else 
the  name  be — and  makes  a  slight  bow  to  the  missal  as  he 
pronounces  it,  out  of  reverence  for  the  name  of  the  Vicar 
of  Christ.  The  bishop  of  the  diocese  is  mentioned  in  the 
same  way,  but  without  any  bow  of  the  head.  In  case  the 
diocese  should  be  ruled  by  a  bishop  administrator  or  co- 
adjutor while  the  real  bishop,  through  some  indisposition, 
is  unable  to  attend  to  it,  the  name  of  the  indisposed  bishop 
must,  nevertheless,  be  inserted,  and  not  that  of  the  admin- 
istrator or  coadjutor.  When  a  bishop  himself  says  Mass, 
instead  of  saying,  "  and  our  bishop,  N.,"  he  says,  "and  I, 
thy  unworthy  servant,"  without  expressing  his  name. 
When  the  Holy  Father  celebrates  he  says,  "  I,  thy  un- 
worthy servant,  whom  thou  hast  wished  should  preside 
over  thy  flock."  If  the  Mass  be  celebrated  at  Rome  no 
bishop's  name  is  mentioned  after  the  Pope's,  for  there  is 
no  other  bishop  of  Rome  but  the  Holy  Father  himself. 

"  Te  Igitur."  303 

What  has  been  said  here  of  bishops,  of  course,  applies  also 
to  archbishops,  patriarchs,  and  cardinals,  no  matter  of  what 
grade.  The  members  of  religious  orders  are  not  permitted 
to  insert  here  the  name  of  their  superior,  but  must,  like 
secular  priests,  add  that  of  the  bishop  of  the  diocese. 

"  Pro  omnibus  orthodoxis  "— 
"  For  all  the  orthodox." 

Since  there  are  two  expressions  in  the  latter  part  of  this 
first  prayer  which  mean  one  and  the  same  thing,  many 
writers  have  supposed  that  by  the  word  orthodox  are  here 
meant  all  those  who  are  outside  the  visible  unity  of  the 
Church  by  schism  only  ;  according  to  which  the  present 
Greek  Church  with  its  offshoot,  that  of  the  Russian  Empire, 
would  be  included.  The  reader  need  hardly  be  told  that 
any  given  Church  may  be  schismatic  without  being  heretical 
at  the  same  time.  The  one  neither  means  nor  necessarily 
implies  the  other.  The  one  may,  theologically  speaking,  be 
sound  in  the  faith  ;  the  other  never  can  be.  A  heretic,  from 
the  very  derivation  of  the  word  (aipeoo),  is  one  who  consti- 
tutes himself  a  judge  and  chooses  his  faith  upon  the  strength 
of  his  own  private  authority.  A  schismatic,  strictly  speak- 
ing, is  one  who  separates  or  cuts  himself  off  ((T^/^g?)  from 
the  outward  unity  of  the  Church  by  refusing  assent  to  some 
point  of  discipline,  or  authority  to  the  chief  pastor.  Now, 
although  the  so-called  Greek  Church  has  been  schismatio 
since  the  ninth  century,  with  little  exception,  still  it  has 
never  by  any  formal  act  been  declared  heretical  by  the  Holy 
See  ;  and  until  the  Holy  See  passes  judgment  upon  it  and 
pronounces  it  heretical  no  private  authority  has  a  right  to 
do  so.  Some  think,  therefore,  that  it  is  no  distortion  of  the 
meaning  of  this  prayer  to  suppose  that  it  refers  to,  or  at 
least  includes,  schismatics  when  it  speaks  of  the  orthodox^ 

304  The  Celebration  of  Mast. 

for,  as  they  say,  a  person  may  be  orthodox — that  is,  sound 
in  the  faith — and  still  be  outside  the  visible  unity  of  the 
Church.  The  principal  objection  to  this  interpretation  is, 
that  the  Church  is  not  accustomed  to  share  the  Holy  Sacri- 
fice of  the  Mass  with  those  who  are  wilfully  out  of  her 
(  ommunion.  (See  the  Catholic  World  for  the  months  of 
March  and  April,  1877;  articles,  "The  Kussian  Chancellor" 
and  "Natalie  Narischkin. ") 


In  countries  where  Catholicity  is  the  established  religion 
it  is  customary  in  this  prayer  to  add  the  name  of  the  sove- 
reign on  the  throne  immediately  after  that  of  the  diocesan 
bishop.  The  Venetians  used  to  insert  the  name  of  the 
grand  doge  here.  For  some  time  the  Hungarians  prayed  at 
this  place  for  the  king,  but  by  a  recent  decree  of  the  Holy 
See  the  title  of  emperor  has  been  substituted  instead  (Koz- 
ma,  p.  198).  A  priest  celebrating  in  any  part  of  the  Aus- 
trian dominions,  therefore,  is  bound  to  observe  this  rule. 
It  is  hardly  necessary  to  add  that  without  the  express  per- 
mission of  the  Holy  See  it  is  unlawful  to  insert  any  name 
whatever  in  this  place. 


We  have  already  stated  that  the  Canon  of  the  Oriental 
€hurch  begins  at  the  Preface.  That  of  the  Liturgy  of  St. 
Basil  the  Great  is  ushered  in  with  this  solemn  admonition : 
w  Come  forward,  0  men !  Stand  with  trembling  awe  and 
look  towards  the  east."  According  to  nearly  all  the  Orien- 
tal liturgies,  some  such  warning  precedes  the  Canon,  and 
the  moment  the  people  hear  it  they  become  at  once  erect 
and  attentive.  The  Maronite  laity,  who  use  staves  in 
church  to  lean  upon,  as  the  modern  custom  of  sitting  down 
at  Mass  is  not  in  vogue  with  them,  are  required  to  stand  up 

Canon  of  the  Oriental  Church.  305 

here  without  any  support  whatever,  as  a  mark  of  great  re- 
spect for  this  most  solemn  part  of  divine  service.  The  form 
of  prayer  for  the  spiritual  and  temporal  ruler  with  the  Ai\ 
menians  is  thus  worded  :  "For  our  lord  the  most  holy  Pa- 
triarch N.,  for  his  health  and  the  salvation  of  his  soul." 
Then  the  minor  clergy  are  mentioned  :  "for  all  vartabeds,3 
priests,  deacons,  and  subdeacons."  After  this  comes  the 
name  of  the  sovereign  on  the  throne:  "the  emperor,  the 
imperial  family,  the  court,  and  the  camp."  This  prayer  as- 
sumes formidable  proportions  in  the  Eussian  Church,  foi 
every  member  of  the  imperial  family  must  be  mentioned  in 
it  by  name,  and  woe  to  the  poor  priest  or  bishop  who  would 
dare  to  omit  one  of  them ;  for  the  czar  is  supreme  in  spi- 
rituals as  well  as  in  temporals  throughout  that  empire,  and 
arrogates  the  right  to  himself  of  having  his  name  and  title, 
wherever  they  appear,  always  written  in  capital  letters  (Ton- 
dini,  The  Pojie  of  Rome  and  the  Eastern  Popes,  p.  95). 

The  prayer  for  the  temporal  ruler  in  the  Liturgy  of  St. 
Mark  is  very  beautiful.  It  runs  thus  :  "  The  orthodox  and 
Christ-loving  king :  .  .  .  lay  hands  upon  the  shield  and 
/buckler,  and  stand  up  to  help  him ;  .  .  .  cover  his  head  in 
the  day  of  battle ;  speak  good  things  to  his  heart  for  thy 
Holy  Catholic  and  Apostolic  Church,  and  all  the  people 
that  loveth  Christ." 

The  prayer  in  St.  Clement's  Liturgy  is  thus  expressed : 
f  For  every  episcopate  under  heaven  of  those  who  rightly 
divide  the  word  of  thy  truth  let  us  make  our  supplication  ; 
and  for  our  Bishop  James  and  his  parishes  let  us  make  our 
supplication  ;  for  the  Bishop  Clement  and  his  parishes  let 
us  make  our  supplication  ;  for  our  Bishop  Evodius  and  his 
parishes  let  us  make  our  supplication,  that  the  merciful 
God  may  vouchsafe  them  to  their  holy  ohurches,  safe,  hon- 

*  By  Vartabed  the  Armenians  understand  a  monastic  or  celibate  prieet.  They  ar« 
generally  the  preachers  of  the  Word  in  the  East. 

306  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

orable,  full  of  length  of  days,  and  may  afford  tliem  an  hon- 
orable old  age  in  piety  and  righteousness." 


As  the  priest  begins  this  prayer  he  moves  his  hands 
slowly  before  his  face,  and,  having  united  them,  rests  in 
meditation  awhile,  pausing  over  those  for  whom  he  intends 
to  pray  particularly.  He  is  at  liberty  to  remember  here 
— privately,  of  course — whomsoever  he  pleases,  no  matter 
whether  he  be  in  the  Church  or  out  of  it ;  for  the  prayer 
is  private,  and  the  Church  exercises  no  jurisdiction  over 
private  prayers.  This  memento  is  worded  as  follows : 
"Remember,  0  Lord,  thy  servants,  male  and  female,  N.N. 
[pause],  and  all  here  present,  whose  faith  is  known  to  thee 
and  devotion  manifest ;  for  whom  we  offer,  or  who  offer 
to  thee,  this  sacrifice  of  praise,  for  themselves  and  all  that 
belong  to  them,  for  the  redemption  of  their  souls,  for  the 
hope  of  their  salvation  and  safety,  and  who  render  their 
vows  to  thee,  the  Eternal,  Living,  and  True  God." 

Regarding  the  expression,  "who  offer  to  thee,"  as  applied 
to  the  people,  the  reader  must  not  suppose  that  the  right 
or  power  of  offering  sacrifice  in  the  true  sense  is  meant,  for 
the  people  cannot  do  this,  but  only  the  priest.  The  expres- 
sion is  a  familiar  form  for  signifying  co-operation  in  the 
sacred  mystery,  and  directly  refers  to  the  ancient  practice  of 
receiving  offerings  from  the  people  in  the  shape  of  bread 
and  wine  for  altar  purposes.  According  to  Romsee  (p.  187), 
the  particle  "  or  "  in  this  prayer  must  be  considered  a  copu* 
lative  conjunction,  and  not  a  disjunctive  one  ;  and  that  hence 
the  wording  in  its  true  sense  would  be,  "for  whom  we  offer, 
and  wPjo  offer  unto  thee,"  etc.  Regarding  the  word  "vo- 
ta,"  translated  by  us  as  vows,  it  is  well  to  remark  that 
what  are  technically  called  by  that  name,  whether  they  be 

Dissertation  on  the  Diptychs,  307 

simple  vows  or  solemn  ones,  are  here  meant  only  in  a  very 
remote  sense  ;  the  direct  application  of  the  word  is  to  be 
taken  in  the  sense  of  pious  desires,  thanksgivings,  and  'pri- 
vate intentions  (Romsee,  p.  189). 

Formerly  it  was  customary  to  read  aloud  at  the  letters 
"N.N."  of  this  memento  the  names  of  all  those  who  were 
entitled  to  special  mention.  In  Solemn  High  Mass  the  duty 
of  doing  this  devolved  upon  the  deacon,  who  would  stand 
for  this  purpose  on  the  altar-steps,  or  ascend  the  ambo, 
which  was  the  more  general  way ;  but  in  Low  Mass  the  duty 
devolved  upon  the  priest,  who  turned  round  to  the  congre- 
gation at  this  place,  and  read  the  names  from  folded  tablets 
called  diptychs.  According  to  the  general  opinion  of  litur- 
gists,  this  custom  lasted,  with  little  interruption,  up  to  the 
eleventh  century,  when,  on  account  of  the  excessive  vain- 
glory that  many  indulged  in  at  hearing  their  names  and 
offerings  read  out  in  public,  the  Church  thought  well  to 
discontinue  it  (Romsee,  p.  185). 


The  diptychs,  from  the  Greek  6i*y  twice,  and  nrvacJ0Di  \ 
fold,  were,  agreeably  to  their  derivation,  tablets  folding  in 
two  somewhat  after  the  manner  of  a  writing  portfolio,  and 
having  three  separate  columns  of  equal  extent  In  the 
first  of  these  columns  were  inscribed  the  names  of  the 
holy  martyrs  who  openly  died  for  the  faith,  and  who, 
from  the  fact  of  their  being  mentioned  here,  were  said 
to  be  canonized — that  is,  worthy  of  being  named  in  the 
Canon  of  the  Mass.  This  was  the  primitive  way  of 
bringing  about  canonization  ;  and  a  vestige  of  it  is  yet 
kept  up,  for,  according  to  the  present  discipline,  when  any 
servant  of  God  has  been  declared  a  saint  it  is  customary 
for  our  Holy  Father  the  Pope  to  invoke  him  in  the  Mass 
said  on   that   occasion,   after  the   other  saints   mentioned 

308  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

(ffierurgia,  p.  480,  note).  The  second  column  contained 
the  names  of  those  who  were  illustrious  among  the  living,  or 
held  places  of  eminence  either  in  the  temporal  or  spiritual 
order,  such  as  the  Supreme  Pontiff,  the  patriarch,  arch- 
bishop, or  bishop  of  the  diocese,  and  after  these  the  ruling 
prince  or  sovereign.  In  this  same  column  were  also  inserted 
the  names  of  those  for  whose  special  intention  the  Mass  was 
offered,  or  who  contributed  bountifully  towards  the  wants  of 
the  altar  and  the  support  of  its  sacred  ministers.  As  it  was 
strictly  forbidden  to  receive  gifts  from  those  whose  lives 
were  in  any  way  scandalous,  or  who  were  not  considered, 
strictly  speaking,  practical  Catholics,  so  it  was  also  forbid- 
den to  insert  their  names  in  the  sacred  tablets,  no  matter 
how  exalted  a  position  in  life  they  otherwise  held.  In  the 
third  column  of  the  diptychs  were  enrolled  those  of  the 
dead  who  departed  life  in  full  communion  with  the  Church, 
but  who  were  not  otherwise  in  any  degree  remarkable.  The 
substance  of  these  three  columns  is  now  distributed  among 
the  following  prayers,  viz. :  the  first  memento,  the  "  Com- 
municantes,"  the  "  Nobis  quoque  peccatoribus,"  and  the 
second  memento. 

Here  we  call  the  reader's  attention  again  to  yet  another 
proof  of  the  reluctance  of  the  Church  to  make  any  altera- 
tion in  the  Canon.  Although  the  custom  of  reading  the 
names  of  the  living  and  the  dead  has  long  since  ceased,  still 
the  letters  "N.  N.,"  where  this  reading  occurred,  have  never 
been  removed,  although  they  serve  no  particular  purpose 
now,  nor  is  the  priest  required  to  pause  at  them  in  celebrat- 
ing, as  he  was  of  old. 

Ceremonies  attending  the  Reading  of  the  Diptychs. — In 
many  of  the  ancient  cathedral  churches  a  very  great  dis- 
play used  to  be  made — almost  as  great  as  that  made  at  the 
Gospel — when  the  time  for  reading  the  diptyohs  had  arrived. 
We  have  said  that,  as  a  general  rule,  they  were  read  from 

Dissertation  on  the  Diptychs.  309 

the  ambo.  For  this  reason  it  was  customary  for  the  entire 
congregation  to  turn  their  eyes  in  this  direction  ;  and  such 
of  them  as  could  conveniently  do  it  would  flock  around  the 
ambo  and  remain  there  until  all  the  names  had  been  read. 
Whenever  any  name  was  read  out  which  was  entitled  to 
special  veneration  it  was  usual  to  exclaim  :  "  Gloria  tibi, 
Domine" — "  Glory  be  to  thee,  0  Lord  " — as  if  to  thank  God 
for  the  favors  bestowed  on  such  individuals.  This  was  done 
at  a  Mass  celebrated  during  the  session  of  the  fifth  General 
Council,  held  in  553  at  Constantinople,  when  the  names 
of  Pope  Leo  the  Great  and  those  of  the  saintly  bishops 
Macedonius  and  Euphemius  were  read  out  (Selvaggio,  i. 
p.  21  ;  Bona,  p.  345).  Sometimes,  too,  the  names  of  those 
general  councils  in  which  some  remarkable  dogma  of  faith 
was  defined  or  heresy  condemned  were  also  read  for  the 
gratification  of  the  people  (ibid. )  When  the  names  of  the 
persons  to  be  prayed  for  reached  a  very  high  figure,  in  order 
not  to  increase  the  tedium  of  the  people,  a  catalogue  of 
them  was  drawn  up  and  placed  on  the  altar  before  the  eyes 
of  the  priest,  who  would  remember  them  in  this  man- 
ner :  "  Remember,  0  Lord !  thy  servants,  male  and  fe- 
male, and  those  also  who  have  a  special  claim  to  be  men- 
tioned in  the  sight  of  thy  Divine  Majesty ;  of  those,  too, 
whose  names  we  are  looking  at  or  express  in  words." 
Martene  tells  us  that  in  some  churches  the  practice  pre- 
vailed through  the  ninth  century  of  having  the  subdeacon 
recite,  in  a  low  whisper,  to  the  celebrant  the  names  of  those 
who  deserved  special  commemoration  (De  Antiquis  Ecct 
Ritibus,  f.  37).  The  only  rite  which  yet  retains  the  reading 
of  the  diptychs  in  the  Latin  Church  is  the  Mozarabic. 

Diptychs  of  the  Oriental  Church. — That  the  reading  of 
the  diptychs  is  yet  kept  up  in  all  the  churches  of  the  East 
may  be  seen  from  a  glance  at  any  of  their  liturgies,  where 
we  find  special  directions  given  on  this  head  to  the  deacon 

310  The   Celebration  of  Mass, 

of  the  Mass.  The  order  of  the  memento  in  the  Coptic 
diptychs  is,  first,  for  the  Church  at  large,  then  for  bishops 
in  general,  after  this  for  their  patriarch  and  all  the  orders 
of  the  clergy,  and,  finally,  for  the  favorable  flow  of  the 
Nile.  In  the  Greek  Liturgy  of  St.  Basil  mention  of  the 
Pope  is  made  ;  but  this  is  not,  as  some  have  supposed,  the 
Pope  of  Rome,  but  rather  the  Patriarch  of  Alexandria,  to 
whom  this  title  is  always  given  in  the  East.  In  some  of 
the  churches  of  Syria  it  is  customary  to  say  "  Kyrie  eleison  " 
after  every  name  read  from  the  diptychs  (Renaudot, 
Liturg.  Orient.,  ii.  p.  96).  As  there  is  nothing  else  of  any 
great  importance  in  this  second  prayer  of  the  Canon,  we 
now  pass  on  to  the  third  prayer,  or  the  "  Communicantes." 


The  priest,  remaining  in  the  same  place  and  preserving 
the  same  attitude,  with  outstretched  hands  recites  the  third 
prayer  of  the  Canon,  which,  in  English,  may  be  rendered 
as  follows  :  "  Communicating  and  venerating  the  memory, 
in  the  first  place,  of  the  ever  glorious  Virgin  Mary,  Mother 
of  God,  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  as  also  of  thy  blessed 
Apostles  and  Martyrs,  Peter  and  Paul,  Andrew,  James, 
John,  Thomas,  James,  Philip,  Bartholomew,  Matthew, 
Simon  and  Thaddseus,  Linus,  Cletus,  Clement,  Xystus, 
Cornelius,  Lawrence,  Chrysogonus,  John  and  Paul,  Cosmas 
and  Damian,  and  of  all  thy  saints,  by  whose  merits  and 
prayers  grant  that  we  may  be  aided  in  everything,  and 
fortified  by  thy  help  ;  through  the  same  Christ,  onr  Lord." 

The  Saints  mentioned  in  this  Prayer. — As  is  just  and  pro- 
per, because  she  has  the  proud  title  of  Queen  of  Saints  and 
Martyrs,  our  Blessed  Lady's  name  heads  the  list  in  this 
sacred  catalogue,  where  she  is  commemorated  as  the  "  ever 
glorious  Virgin   Mary,   Mother    of    God,   our  Lord  Jesus 

Third  Prayer,  or  the  " '  Communicantes"  311 

Christ."  There  is  not  a  liturgy  in  the  East  or  West  in 
which  our  Heavenly  Queen,  with  her  singular  prerogatives, 
is  not  mentioned.  In  the  Liturgy  of  St.  James  she  is  styled 
"the  most  holy,  immaculate,  exceedingly  glorious,  blessed 
Lady,  Mother  of  God,  and  ever  Virgin  Mary."  In  that  of 
St.  Chrysostom  she  is  denominated  "  the  most  holy,  un de- 
filed, exceedingly  laudable,  glorious  Lady,  Mother  of  God, 
and  ever  Virgin  Mary."  The  Liturgy  of  St.  Basil  the 
Great  styles  her  "  the  all-holy,  immaculate,  super-eminently 
blessed,  glorious  Lady,  Mother  of  God,  and  ever  Virgin 
Mary  ";  and  in  the  Coptic  version  of  the  same  she  is  com- 
memorated in  the  following  manner  :  "  Above  all,  the  most 
holy,  most  glorious,  immaculate,  blessed  Lady  of  ours, 
Mother  of  God,  and  ever  Virgin  Mary. "  Nor  are  the  Nes- 
torians,  who  deny  her  the  title  of  Mother  of  God,  behind- 
hand, for  all  that,  in  showing  her  every  other  mark  of  reve- 
rence and  respect.  They  invoke  her  as  follows  :  "  The 
prayers  of  the  Virgin  Mary,  Mother  of  Jesus  our  Saviour, 
be  to  us  at  all  times  a  wall  of  defence  by  day  and  by  night." 
And  in  another  place  they  say  of  her  :  "Kejoice  and  exult, 
0  thou  who  art  full  of  grace,  holy  and  chaste  Virgin  Mary, 
Mother  of  Christ,  because  the  archangel  became  a  heavenly 
messenger  unto  thee,  0  thou,  Mother,  who  in  virginity  didst 
bring  forth  the  Wonderful,  the  Counsellor,  and  Saviour  of 
the  world."  The  Eev.  Mr.  Badger,  from  whose  work  (Tlie 
Nestorians  and  their  Rituals,  ii.  p.  249)  we  copy  these  words, 
declares  his  utter  astonishment  at  the  intense  devotion  mani- 
fested by  these  heretics  to  our  Blessed  Lady  ;  he  is  forced 
even  to  confess— with  much  reluctance,  we  may  be  sure,  for 
he  is  a  Protestant  of  the  first  water — that  they  do  not 
scruple  to  apply  to  our  Lady,  now  and  then,  the  epithet 
Theotohos — that  is,  Mother  of  God — of  which  so  much  was 
gaid  at  the  General  Council  of  Ephesus  in  the  year  431, 
where  Nestorius  himself  was  condemned.     The  reader  will 

312  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

gee  in  this  work  of  Badger  many  good  points  on  the  devo« 
tion  of  the  Eastern  heretics  to  our  Blessed  Lady. 

Before  we  enter  on  a  history  of  the  other  saints  mentioned 
in  the  "  Oommunicantes  "  we  deem  it  well  to  inform  the 
reader  that  it  is  only  those  who  are  ranked  as  martyrs  who 
have  a  place  in  the  Canon  ;  and  this  is  another  proof  of  its 
great  antiquity,  for  it  was  not  until  the  fourth  century  that 
the  Church  instituted  feasts  in  honor  of  the  other  classes  of 

St.  Peter. — The  Prince  of  the  Apostles  was  a  native  of 
Bethsaida,  and,  as  tradition  goes,  was  our  Divine  Lord's 
senior  in  age  by  about  ten  years.  He  received  at  his  cir- 
cumcision the  name  of  Simon,  or  Simeon,  meaning  in  He- 
brew "  Jehovah  hath  heard,"  but  this  was  afterwards 
changed  by  our  Lord  to  "  Kipho,"  generally  written  Cephas 
in  English,  from  the  Syriac  ]mS<tmS  —  a  rock.  St.  Peter  was 
a  married  man,  but  a  very  ancient  tradition,  upon  which 
St.  Jerome  lays  particular  stress,  assures  us  that  after  his 
call  to  the  apostleship  he  and  his  wife  (a  very  holy  lady) 
agreed  to  live  continent  the  rest  of  their  lives.  He 
had  a  daughter  named  Petronilla,  whom  the  Church 
honors  as  a  saint  on  May  31.  Our  glorious  apostle,  as 
is  well  known,  suffered  death  under  Nero  on  the  Vati- 
can Hill,  where,  at  his  own  request,  he  was  crucified 
head  downwards.  He  is  represented  in  most  of  the  early 
paintings  as  bald  on  the  crown  of  the  head,  but  having 
a  thick  circle  of  hair  growing  round  the  under  part,  after 
the  manner  of  some  of  the  clerical  tonsures  worn  by  members 
of  religious  orders.  In  Anglo-Saxon  art  he  is  always  beard- 
less, to  favor  a  long-standing  tradition  that  the  pagans,  in 
order  to  make  him  as  despicable-looking  as  possible  in  the 
eyes  of  the  people,  shaved  his  head  closely.  Ever  since  the 
eighth  century  it  has  been  customary  to  represent  him  with 
a  pair  of  keys  in  hand,  symbolic  of  his  power  in  heaven  and 

Third  Prayer,  or  the  " Communicantes."  313 

on  earth.  Many  will  have  it  appear  that  the  ecclesiastical 
tonsure,  so-called,  owes  its  origin  to  the  indignity  practised 
on  our  apostle  by  the  pagans — viz.,  shaving  his  head. 

St.  Paul. — St.  Paul  was  a  native  of  Tarsus,  a  city  of 
Cilicia,  in  Asia  Minor.  After  his  miraculous  conversion  to 
the  faith  he  went  to  Jerusalem,  where,  through  the  medi- 
ation of  his  companion,  St.  Barnabas,  he  made  the  acquaint- 
ance of  SS.  Peter  and  James.  With  the  former  he  became 
associated  in  the  see  of  Rome,  and  together  with  him  suf- 
fered martyrdom  about  the  year  67  of  our  era  and  the 
twelfth  of  the  reign  of  Nero.  The  two  holy  apostles  are 
generally  named  together,  for,  as  the  Church  sings  of  them, 
"in  life  they  loved  each  other  ;  in  death  they  are  not  sepa- 
rated." According  to  some,  our  apostle  changed  his  first 
name,  Saul,  to  Paul  through  respect  for  the  Proconsul 
Sergius  Paulus,  whom  he  converted  to  the  faith.  Others 
say  that  he  took  the  name  from  the  Latin  paulus,  "little/ 
because,  as  he  says  in  his  own  profound  humility,  he  was 
the  least  of  the  apostles. 

St.  Andreiv,  November  30. — St.  Andrew  was  St.  Peter's 
brother,  but  whether  his  senior  in  years  or  not  the  New 
Testament  does  not  say.  Upon  the  portioning  out  of  the 
globe  among  the  twelve  Scythia  was  assigned  as  the  field  of 
his  labors.  He  finally  penetrated  Cappadocia,  Galatia, 
Bithynia,  and  the  parts  around  the  Euxine  Sea,  and  end- 
ed his  days,  like  his  Divine  Master,  by  dying  on  the  cross. 
This,  according  to  the  best  authorities,  happened  at  Pa- 
tras,  a  city  of  Achaia.  In  the  fourth  century  some  of  his 
relics  were  taken  to  Scotland  by  St.  Regulus,  from  which 
fact  he  has  been  venerated  as  the  patron  of  the  country 
and  of  its  first  order  of  knighthood,  or  that  known  as  the 
"Order  of  the  Thistle."'     He  is  also  the  patron   of  the 

*  The  collar  of  the  Order  of  the  Thistle  is  made  of  thistles  and  rue.  The  one  cannot 
be  touched  without  hurt ;  the  other  is  an  antidote  against  poison, 

314  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

u  Order  of  tlie  Golden  Fleece "  of  Burgundy,  founded  by 
Philip  the  Good  in  1429,  and  of  the  entire  empire  of  Rus- 
sia, together  with  its  great  order,  known  as  the  "  Order  of 
the  Cross  of  St.  Andrew."  In  heraldry  our  saint  is  gene- 
rally represented  with  a  cross  decussate,  or  saltier.  When 
blended  with  the  cross  of  St.  George  and  the  saltier  gules 
of  St.  Patrick  this  cross  forms  the  English  flag  familiarly 
known  as  the  "Union  Jack."* 

St.  James,  July  25. — This  blessed  apostle,  generally 
known  as  St.  James  the  Greater,  because  of  his  seniority 
in  years  to  St.  James,  commonly  styled  the  "  brother  of  the 
Lord,"  was  son  of  Zebedee  and  Salome,  and  brother  of  St. 
John  the  Evangelist.  It  was  this  apostle  who,  in  company 
with  St.  Peter  and  St.  John,  formed  the  three  that  were 
present  on  Thabor  at  our  Lord's  Transfiguration  and  in  the 
Garden  of  Olives  when  his  agony  began.  By  command 
of  Herod  Agrippa,  who,  as  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  relate 
(chap,  xii.),  "stretched  forth  his  hands  to  afflict  some  of 
the  Church,"  he  was  "  killed  with  the  sword."  This  hap- 
pened about  the  year  43.  The  body  of  the  apostle  was  first 
interred  at  Jerusalem,  but  was  finally  removed  to  Spain, 
where  it  is  alleged  he  once  preached  the  Gospel,  and  de- 
posited at  Iria  Flavia,  now  El  Padron,  on  the  confines  of 
Galicia.  By  order  of  Alphonsus  the  Chaste,  King  of  Leon, 
it  was  subsequently  transferred  to  Compostella  (a  corruption 
of  Giacomo  Postolo),  in  whose  cathedral  it  lies  at  present. 
From  this  circumstance  our  blessed  apostle  has  been  chosen 
as  the  Patron  of  Spain  under  the  name  of  Sant  Iago  di  Com- 
postella. A  military  order,  known  as  that  of  "  St.  James  the 
Noble,"  was  established  in  his  honor  by  Ferdinand  II.  in  1175. 

*  The  name  "  Jack,"  as  need  here,  is  nothing  else  but  a  corruption  of  the  French 
"  Jacques,"  James,  and  had  its  origin  in  the  fact  that,  at  the  accession  of  King  James 
I.,  the  cross  of  St.  George  and  that  of  St.  Andrew  were  united  in  one,  thus  forming  th« 
original  "  Union  Jack." 

Third  Prayer,  or  the  "  Communicantes."  315 

St.  John.  December  27.— This  holy  apostle  and  Evange- 
list, called  in  the  -New  Testament  "  the  disciple  whom  Jesus 
loved,"  was  a  Galilean  by  birth.  According  to  a  tradition  of 
long  standing,  he  is  said  to  have  dwelt  at  Jerusalem  until 
the  death  of  our  Blessed  Lad}%  which  took  place,  it  is  said. 
about  the  year  48,  and  that  then  he  journeyed  into  Asia, 
where  he  is  said  to  have  founded  the  seven  churches  men- 
tioned in  his  Apocalypse.  Authentic  accounts  say  that  he 
died  and  was  buried  at  Ephesus  when  about  one  hundred 
years  of  age.  According  to  Polycrates,  St.  John  always  wore 
the  golden  plate  of  the  Jewish  high-priest  upon  his  fore- 
head, upon  which  was  engraved  "  Kodesh  le  Jehovah  n — - 
"Holiness  to  Jehovah."  The  Greeks  generally  style  him 
"  St.  John  the  Divine."  From  his  great  purity,  having 
always  led  a  single  life,  and  from  his  singular  intimacy  with 
our  Divine  Lord,  many  of  the  Oriental  Fathers  held  that  he 
was  taken  up,  body  and  soul,  to  heaven  like  Enoch  and 
Elias.  Though  he  died  a  natural  death,  he  is  by  all  es- 
teemed a  martyr  from  the  fact  that  he  submitted  to  mar- 
tyrdom when  cast  by  order  of  Domitian  into  a  caldron  of 
boiling  oil,  from  which  he  escaped  unhurt. 

St.  Thomas,  December  21. — According  to  the  most  general 
opinion,  this  apostle  was  by  birth  a  Galilean.  Parthia  was 
given  as  his  field  of  labors  when  the  portioning  out  of  the 
globe  was  made  among  the  twelve.  He  is  said  to  have  met 
death  by  being  run  through  with  a  spear  by  the  Brahmins 
of  India.  As  he  is  universally  styled  the  "  Doubting  Disci- 
ple "  (from  the  fact  of  his  saying  that  he  would  not  believe 
the  other  apostles,  who  told  him  they  had  seen  our  Lord 
after  he  had  risen  from  the  dead  on  Easter  Sunday,  unless  he 
saw  him  with  his  own  eyes  and  examined  his  wounds),  it  is 
commonly  said  that  the  shortest  day  in  the  year  was  assigned 
as  his  feast  day,  to  remind  us  of  the  shortness  of  his  faith. 

St.  James,  May  1. — The  second  apostle  mentioned  by  the 

316  TJie  Celebration  of  Mass, 

name  of  James  is  lie  who  is  generally  styled  the  "brother  oi 
our  Lord,"  from  a  Hebrew  usage  of  thus  naming  cousins- 
german.  He  is  called  "James  the  Less"  from  being 
younger  than  the  other  of  the  same  name,  and  "  James  the 
Just "  on  account  of  his  great  sanctity.  He  is  said  to  be  the 
son  of  Alphaeus  and  Mary  (sister  of  the  Blessed  Virgin). 
It  is  the  general  opinion  that  he  was  the  first  bishop  of 
Jerusalem,  having  been  appointed  to  that  see  soon  after  our 
Lord's  Ascension.  Like  the  "Beloved  Disciple,"  he  is  said 
to  have  always  worn  the  plate  of  gold  peculiar  to  the  Jewish 
high-priest,  as  an  ensign  of  his  consecration  to  the  Lord. 
According  to  Hegesippus,  quoted  by  St.  Jerome,  and  others, 
he  met  death  by  being  cast  by  the  Jews  from  the  battle- 
ments of  the  Temple  and  afterwards  despatched  with  a  blow 
from  a  fuller's  club.  It  is  said  that  the  resemblance  of  this 
apostle  to  our  Lord  was  so  great  that  it  was  difficult  to  tell 
the  two  apart,  for  which  reason  Judas  found  it  necessary  to 
tell  his  band  to  seize  upon  him  whom  he  would  address. 
"  Whomsoever  I  shall  kiss,"  said  he,  "that  is  he  ;  lay  hold 
of  him  and  lead  him  away  carefully"  (Mark  xiv.  44).  Ac- 
cording to  the  legend,  St.  James  said  he  would  eat  nothing 
from  the  time  he  partook  of  the  Last  Supper  until  our  Lord 
had  risen  from  the  dead.  Soon  after  the  Eesurrection  it  is 
said  that  our  Lord  appeared  to  him  and  asked  for  a  table 
and  some  bread,  whereupon  he  said  to  the  saint  :  "  My 
brother,  eat  thy  bread,  for  the  Son  of  Man  is  risen  from 
among  them  that  sleep."  According  to  St.  Gregory  of 
Tours,  our  saint's  remains  were  interred  on  Mount  Olivet  in 
a  tomb  which  he  had  built  for  himself.  He  is  the  author  of 
the  Catholic  Epistle  called  after  his  name,  and  which  the 
disdainful  heretic  Luther  denominated  "  Epistola  strami- 
nea" — an  "Epistle  of  straw" — because  it  says  very  point- 
edly that  faith  without  good  works  is  dead,  for  which  reason 
Protestants  rejected  it  formerly. 

Third  Prayer,  or  the  "Communicantes."         317 

St.  Philip,  May  1.-— St.  Philip  was  born  at  Bethsaida, 
and  received  as  the  place  of  his  apostolic  labors,  upper  Asia. 
He  finally  came  to  Hierapolis,  in  Phrygia,  where  he  suffered 
martyrdom  at  a  very  advanced  age.  One  of  his  arms  was 
brought  from  Constantinople  to  Florence  in  the  year  1204  ; 
the  rest  of  his  body  is  kept  in  the  Church  of  SS.  Philip  and 
James  at  Rome. 

St.  Bartholomew,  August  24.— According  to  the  most  ex- 
act commentators,  our  saint  and  Nathanael  are  one  and  the 
same  person.  He  is  said  to  have  been  born  at  Cana  of  Gali- 
lee. His  name,  Bartholomew,  comes  from  the  Syriac  bar, 
a  son,  and  Tolmai,  a  proper  name.5  As  to  the  precise  man- 
ner of  this  apostle's  death  authorities  are  not  agreed,  but 
all  hold  that  he  died  a  martyr,  and  this,  according  to  St. 
Gregory  of  Tours,  in  Greater  Armenia.  One  of  his  arms, 
it  is  said,  was  sent  by  the  Bishop  of  Benevento  to  St.  Ed- 
ward of  England  (Edward  the  Confessor),  who  deposited  it 
in  the  Cathedral  of  Canterbury.  In  art  he  is  generally 
represented  with  a  butcher's  flaying-knife,  the  supposed 
instrument  of  his  torture,  in  commemoration  of  which  the 
strange  custom  of  bestowing  such  knives  as  gifts  on  the 
recurrence  of  the  feast  once  prevailed  at  Croyland  Abbey. 

St.  Matthew,  September  21. — St.  Matthew  was,  according 
to  the  most  general  opinion,  a  native  of  Nazareth,  and  a 
publican  by  profession.  His  original  name  was  Levi,  but 
this  he  abandoned  when  he  became  an  apostle.  Ethiopia 
is  generally  assigned  as  the  field  of  his  apostolic  labors — not 
the  African  Ethiopia,  but  that  which  corresponds  with  the 
ancient  Chaldea.  At  Nadabar,  a  city  of  this  region,  he  is 
said  to  have  ended  his  days  by  martyrdom. 

•  Before  the  Captivity,  when  the  Jews  spoke  the  true  Hebrew,  the  name  for  son  was 
"  Ben,"  thus  :  Benjamin— son  of  my  right  hand  ;   Benoni— son  of  my  anguish  ;  but 
after  the  Captivity,  when  the  pure  Hebrew  was  no  longer  spoken,  but  only  the  Aramaic 
or  Syriac,  a  son  was  designated  by  the  term  "Bar,"  thus  :  Bar-Jona — son  of  Jonah 
Bartimeus— son  of  Timeus ;  Barabbas  (strangely  enough) — son  of  his  father. 

318  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

St.  Simon,  October  28.— To  distinguish  this  saint  from 
the  Prince  of  the  Apostles,  who  was  called  Simon  Peter, 
and  from  St.  Simon,  brother  of  St.  James  the  Less,  he  is 
generally  known  as  Simon  the  Cananean,  and  sometimes 
Simon  Zelotes.  According  to  St.  Jerome,  the  epithet  last 
mentioned  is  the  Greek  equivalent  of  the  Hebrew  Chanaan- 
tie,  a  zealous  imitator,  so  that  it  must  not  be  supposed  that 
our  apostle  was  a  native  of  Cana  from  having  this  epithet 
attached  to  his  name.  According  to  the  Greek  menology, 
our  apostle  passed  over  into  Britain  towards  the  end  of  his 
career,  and  was  there  crowned  with  martyrdom. 

St.  Thaddeus,  October  28.— This  apostle  is  known  in  the 
New  Testament  by  three  different  names — viz.,  Jude,  Thad- 
deus,  and  Lebbams.  By  the  last-mentioned  name  he  is  called 
in  the  Greek  text  of  St.  Matthew.  It  is  generally  under- 
stood that  our  apostle  changed  his  first  name,  Jade,  to  his 
second,  Thaddceus,  in  order  not  to  have  the  same  name  as 
the  traitor  Judas  Iscariot.  Others  say  that  he  did  so  out 
of  respect  for  the  ineffable  name  of  Jehovah,  which  the  Jews 
would  never  pronounce.  His  field  of  labor  was  first  Sama- 
ria, then  Syria  and  the  eastern  parts.  His  martyrdom  is 
said  to  have  occurred  in  Persia.  He  wrote  an  Epistle,  which, 
like  that  of  St.  James,  is  denominated  Catholic,  from  the 
fact  that  it  was  addressed  to  no  Church  in  particular,  but 
to  Christendom  at  large. 

St.  Linus,  September  23.— St.  Linus  was  the  immediate 
successor  of  St.  Peter  in  the  Eoman  see,  over  which  he 
reigned  twelve  years,  and  suffered  martyrdom  about  the  year 
of  our  Lord  87. 

St.  Cletas,  April  26.— St.  Cletus  succeeded  St.  Linus  as 
pope,  and  ruled  the  Church  for  about  thirteen  years.  His 
martyrdom  is  said  to  have  taken  place  about  the  year  91. 
There  has  always  been  much  dispute  as  to  whether  this 
saint  and  Anacletus  are  two  distinct  persons  or  one  and  the 

Third  Prayer,  or  the  "Communicantes."         319 

same.  Most  probably  they  were  different.  In  the  Gerar- 
chia  Cattolica  Anacletus  is  reported  to  have  governed  the 
Church  from  a.d.  100  to  112,  and  that  then  he  died  a  mar- 
tyr. The  two  are  also  distinguished  in  the  Liberian  Cal- 

St.  Clement,  November  23. — St.  Clement,  the  companion 
and  fellow-laborer  of  St.  Paul,  was,  according  to  the  most 
reliable  accounts,  a  Jew  by  birth.  He  is  specially  men- 
tioned by  the  Apostle  of  the  Gentiles  as  having  his  name  in 
the  "Book  of  Life."  An  epistle  written  by  him  to  the 
Christians  of  Rome  in  their  severe  hours  of  trial  has  been 
looked  upon  by  many  as  a  work  of  inspiration  ;  and,  from 
its  great  resemblance  to  St.  Paul's  Epistle  to  the  Hebrews, 
the  authorship  of  the  latter  has  been  often  called  into  ques- 
tion. St.  Clement  met  death,  it  is  said,  by  decapitation, 
under  the  persecution  of  Trajan. 

St.  Xystus,  August  6. — He  suffered  martyrdom  under 
Valerian  in  258. 

St.  Cornelius,  September  16. — St.  Cornelius  was  pope 
from  a.d.  254  to  255.  He  is  styled  by  St.  Cyprian  "a 
blessed  martyr." 

St.  Cyprian,  September  16. — This  saint  was  born  at  Car- 
thage, in  Africa,  and  suffered  martyrdom  about  the  year 
258.  When  the  decree  concerning  his  torture  was  read  to 
him  he  is  reported  to  have  exclaimed  in  a  transport  of  holy 
joy,  "Deo  gratias!" — "Thanks  be  to  God!"  Our  saint's 
name  will  be  ever  held  in  remembrance  from  the  celebrated 
controversy  he  had  with  the  bishops  of  Numidia  about  the 
validity  of  baptism  given  by  heretics.  Pope  St.  Stephen 
pronounced  such  baptism  valid,  and  forbade  any  steps  what- 
ever to  be  taken  to  reiterate  it,  saying  :  "  Nihil  innovetur 
nisi  quod  traditum  est" — that  is,  "  There  must  be  no  inno- 
vation upon  what  has  been  handed  down  by  traditional 

320  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

St.  Laurence,  August  10. — It  is  generally  supposed  that 
St.  Laurence  was  by  birth  a  Spaniard.  All  are  unanimous 
in  saying  that  he  suffered  martyrdom  in  a.d.  258,  and  this 
on  an  instrument  made  after  the  manner  of  a  gridiron, 
which  was  heated  to  redness  and  then  the  saint  placed  upon 
it.  One  of  the  most  celebrated  monuments  built  in  honor 
of  him  now  in  existence  is  the  famous  palace  of  the  Escu- 
rial,  fifteen  miles  from  Madrid,  in  Spain,  which  was  found- 
ed by  Philip  II.  in  1557,  out  of  gratitude  for  a  victory  over 
the  French  at  St.  Quentin,  in  Picardy,  on  the  feast  of  St. 
Laurence.  The  palace  is  built  in  the  shape  of  a  gridiron, 
the  royal  apartments  forming  the  handle,  and  the  church 
the  body  of  the  instrument.  It  is  built  of  solid  granite, 
700  feet  long,  564  wide,  and  330  feet  high.  Over  one  of  its 
main  grand  entrances  are  six  beautifully-finished  statues, 
each  seventeen  feet  high,  of  Kings  David,  Solomon,  Josa- 
phat,  Ezechias,  Manasses,  and  Josias.  This  structure  is 
one  of  the  greatest  curiosities,   perhaps,  in  the  world. 

St.  Chrysogonus,  November  24. — Very  little  is  recorded  of 
this  saint,  further  than  that  he  was  slain  by  the  sword  and 
then  cast  into  the  sea.  His  body  was  afterwards  found  and 
is  now  said  to  be  kept  at  Venice.  A  church  was  built  to  his 
memory  in  the  Trastevere  in  a.d.  599. 

SS.  John  and  Paul,  June  26.— These  two  saints  were  bro- 
thers and  officers  in  the  Eoman  army  together  under  Julian 
the  Apostate.  They  received  the  crown  of  martyrdom  about 
the  year  362. 

SS.  Cosmas  and  Damian,  September  27.— There  were  three 
pairs  of  saints  who  bore  the  names  of  Cosmas  and  Damian, 
but  it  is  almost  universally  admitted  that  the  two  mentioned 
here  were  those  who  suffered  at  Eome  during  the  persecu- 
tion of  Diocletian. 

The  reader  will  remark  that  in  the  enumeration  of  the 
apostles  in  the  "  Communicantes  "  SS.  Mark  and  Luke  do 

Third  Frayer,  or  the  ' '  Communicantes."         321 

not  occur,  and  this  because  it  is  not  certain  whether  they  were 
martyrs  or  not,  and  none  but  such  are  named  in  the  Canon. 

"  Communicantes "  in  the  Eastern  Church. — Protestants 
would  fain  have  it  believed  that  "  saint- worship, "  as  they 
term  the  holy  practice,  is  entirely  confined  to  the  Church  of 
Kome  and  has  no  place  at  all  in  the  churches  of  the  East ; 
but  evidence  too  strong  to  be  rejected,  or  even  called  in 
question,  proves  that  such  is  not  the  case ;  that  the  Eastern 
Church  as  well  as  the  Western  believes,  confesses,  and  prac- 
tises the  doctrine  that  the  saints  of  God,  as  such,  ought  to 
be  revered,  venerated,  and  invoked. 

"I  believe  and  confess,"  says  the  Ritual  of  Eussia  in  its 
article  on  adult  unction,  "according  to  the  understanding 
of  the  Holy  Eastern  Church,  that  the  saints  who  reign  with 
Christ  in  heaven  are  worthy  to  be  honored  and  invoked,  and 
that  their  prayers  and  intercession  move  the  all-merciful 
God  to  the  salvation  of  our  souls"  (Rites  and  Customs  of  the 
Or eco- Russian  Church,  by  Romanoff,  p.  308).  Part  of  the 
Armenian  "Communicantes"  reads  as  follows:  "0  Lord, 
through  the  intercession  of  the  immaculate  parent  of  thine 
only-begotten  Son,  the  holy  Mother  of  God,  and  the  en- 
treaties of  all  thy  saints,  and  of  those  who  are  commemo- 
rated this  day,  accept  our  prayers"  (Smith  and  Dwight, 
Researches  in  Armenia,  i.  p.  185).  The  following  extract 
will  show  that  the  Nestorians  are  sound  on  this  doctrine 
also  :  "0  ye  saints,  prophets,  apostles,  doctors,  confessors, 
martyrs,  priests,  and  hermits,  pray  to  Christ  your  strength 
for  us  all ;  that  through  your  prayers  we  may  receive  out 
of  his  treasure  an  answer  to  all  our  prayers  as  may  be 
profitable  to  us"  (from  the  collection  of  Collects  at  the 
end  of  the  Ehudrah ;  Badger,  ii.  p.  138).  We  could  thus 
go  on  reciting  at  pleasure  testimonies  from  all  the 
churches  of  the  East,  to  show  how  sacred  a  duty  the 
veneration  of  the  saints  is  considered  to  be  in  all  those  re. 

322  Tlie  Celebration  of  Mass. 

gions,  and  how  very  efficacious  before  the  throne  of  God  ; 
but  as  what  we  have  said  is  sufficient  to  convince  any  un- 
biassed mind  of  this  fact,  we  do  not  think  it  necessary  to 
continue  the  subject  further. 

FOURTH    PRAYER,   "  HAtf  C   IGITUR." 

The  priest,  while  reciting  this  prayer,  keeps  his  hands 
spread  out  over  the  oblation,  after  the  manner  of  the 
priests  of  the  ancient  law,  who  observed  a  similar  usage 
in  regard  to  the  victims  offered  in  sacrifice  (Exod.  xxix.; 
Levit.  i.  4).  As  this  prayer  comes  close  upon  consecra- 
tion, it  is  customary  for  the  server  to  ring  the  little  bell 
at  the  beginning  of  it,  in  order  to  remind  the  people  of 
the  near  approach  of  that  moment  when  our  Divine  Lord 
will  be  present  on  the  altar.  According  to  Durandus 
[Rationale,  p.  249),  Pope  Leo  the  Great  composed  and  in- 
serted the  first  part  of  this  prayer  down  to  the  words 
"placatus  accipias."  The  remainder  was  added  by  Pope 
Gregory  the  Great,  in  order  to  beg  of  God  to  avert  the  hor- 
rors of  war  and  pestilence  that  threatened  Eome  in  his 
time  (Romsee,  p.  199). 

An  ancient  Eoman  ordo  prescribed  this  prayer  to  be  re- 
cited with  hands  raised  aloft — a  ceremony  which  the  Do- 
minicans yet  keep  up,  and  which  was  formerly  observed  in 
all  those  places  of  England  where  the  Sarum  Rite  was  fol- 
lowed. The  Carmelites  recite  it  lowly  bowed  down  with 
hands  resting  upon  the  altar.  According  to  Romsee,  our 
present  custom  dates  no  further  back  than  the  fifteenth 
century,  and  we  see  that  the  Orientals  do  not  observe  it. 


This  prayer  is  worded  thus:  "Which  oblation  we  be- 
seech thee,  0  Lord  !  that  thou  wouldst  vouchsafe  in  all 
respects  to  bless,  approve,  ratify,  make  rational  and  ac- 
ceptable, that  it  may*  become  the  Body  and  Blood  of  our 

Fifth  Prayer,  "  Quam  oblationem."  323 

Lord  Jesus  Christ."  The  Latin  word  "  rationabilem " 
is  here  sometimes  rendered  in  English  by  reasonable, 
sometimes  by  rational  The  latter  is  the  better  word, 
because  less  liable  to  be  misunderstood,  for  the  epi- 
thet is  evidently  given  with  a  view  to  distinguish  the 
effect  which  is  about  to  be  produced  on  the  bread  and 
wine  from  the  sacrifices  of  the  old  law,  all  of  which  were 
irrational,  inasmuch  as  they  were  constituted  of  nothing 
but  of  bulls,  goats,  etc.  (Durandus,  p.  253). 

In  reciting  the  latter  part  of  this  prayer  the  priest 
makes  five  crosses  over  the  oblation,  three  over  the  Host 
and  chalice  conjointly,  and  one  over  the  Host  and  chalice 
singly.  As  to  the  peculiar  import  of  these  five  crosses 
there  is  want  of  agreement  among  liturgical  writers.  No 
one,  so  far  as  we  have  seen,  has  attempted  any  other  ex- 
planation of  them  than  a  purely  mystical  one.  Some  say 
they  are  commemorative  of  the  Five  Wounds;  others  that 
fchey  are  intended  to  recall  to  mind  the  threefold  delivery 
of  our  Lord — viz.,  to  the  Jewish  priests,  to  the  scribes, 
and  then  to  the  Pharisees — and  the  duality  of  his  nature. 
A  very  nice  interpretation  of  them  is  that  they  are  in- 
tended to  remind  us,  now  that  consecration  is  about  to 
take  place,  that  the  Blessed  Victim  who  is  going  to  be 
present  on  our  altars  suffered  in  his  five  senses  during 
his  bitter  Passion — in  his  seeing,  when  the  Jews  veiled 
his  face;  in  his  hearing,  when  they  laughed  him  to 
scorn  ;  in  his  taste,  when  they  gave  him  vinegar  and  gall 
to  drink ;  in  his  smelling,  when  they  conveyed  him  to 
Calvary,  a  hill  used  as  a  receptacle  for  dead  bodies, 
whence  its  name  when  interpreted  from  the  Hebrew,  "  a 
place  of  skulls";  and,  finally,  he  suffered  in  his  touch, 
when  his  hands  and  feet  were  nailed  to  the  cross  and  his 
side  pierced  with  a  lance  (Enchiridion  de  Sacr.  Sacrif 
Miss.  Ben.  XIV.,  p.  71). 




Haying  concluded  the  last- mentioned  prayer,  the  priest 
Aubs  the  thumb  and  index  finger  of  each  hand  over  the  cor- 
poral, in  order  to  free  them  from  any  dust  or  defilement  that 
may  have  adhered  to  them  up  to  this  time,  and  all  this  out 
of  respect  for  the  Sacred  Host  which  he  is  going  to  handle 
at  the  moment  of  Consecration. 

Taking  up  the  Host,  he  says  :  "  Who  the  day  before  he 
suffered  took  bread  into  his  holy  and  venerable  hands,  and 
with  eyes  uplifted  to  heaven  to  thee,  0  God !  his  Father 
Almighty,  giving  thanks  to  thee,  he  blessed,  broke,  and 
gave  to  his  disciples,  saving  :  '  Take  and  eat  ye  all  of  this  : 
for  this  is  my  Body.'"  The  consecration  of  the  bread  is 
now  effected,  and,  to  adore  our  Lord  present  on  the  altar, 
the  priest  makes  a  profound  genuflection  the  moment  he 
has  pronounced  the  sacred  words.  After  this  he  raises  the 
Host  on  high  for  the  adoration  of  the  people,  and,  having 
then  placed  it  on  the  corporal  before  him,  goes  on  to  the 
consecration  of  the  chalice.  He  first  takes  off  the  pall  which 
had  been  covering  the  mouth  of  the  chalice  since  the  Of- 
fertory, and  rests  it  against  the  altar-card  in  front  of  him. 
Then,  taking  the  chalice,  he  continues  thus  :  "In  like  man- 
ner after  he  had  supped,  taking  this  goodly  chalice  into 
his  holy  and  venerable  hands,  also  giving  thanks  to  thee, 





The  Consecration.  325 

he  blessed  and  gave  to  his  disciples,  saying :  '  Take  a^d 
drink  ye  all  of  this,  for  this  is  the  chalice  of  my 
Blood  of  the  New  and  Eternal  Testament  ;  the  mys- 

many  unto  the  remission  of  sins.'  "  This  is  the  form  by 
which  the  consecration  of  the  chalice  is  effected,  after  which 
the  priest  kneels  down  in  adoration  as  before,  and  recites 
while  he  is  doing  so  the  words,  "As  often  as  you  do  these 
things  you  shall  do  them  in  remembrance  of  me."  He  then 
elevates  the  chalice  as  he  did  the  Host,  and  after  the  last 
genuflection  covers  it  again  with  the  pall. 

With  the  exception  of  a  few  words,  both  forms  of  conse- 
cration are  taken  from  Holy  Scripture.  What  is  added  over 
and  above  we  shall  now  point  out  and  explain  according  to 
the  most  approved  authorities.  We  preface  our  remarks  by 
Teminding  the  reader  that  the  essential  form  of  the  conse- 
cration of  the  bread  is,  This  is  my  Body,  and  of  the  wine, 
This  is  the  Chalice  of  my  Blood,  or,  simply,  This  is  my 
Blood.  The  rest,  however,  must  be  said  under  pain  of 
mortal  sin. 

"  Who  the  day  before  he  suffered.'9 

These  words  are  not  Scripture,  but  were  added  very  early  by 
some  of  the  popes.  Walfridus  and  Micrologus  ascribe  them 
to  Pope  Alexander,  who  ruled  the  Church  from  a.d.  121  to 
132  ;  but  Cardinal  Bona  and  others  are  in  favor  of  attribut- 
ing them  to  some  one  of  the  apostles.  They  are  to  be  found 
in  the  Liturgies  of  SS.  James  and  Clement. 

"  The  day  before  he  suffered.19 

This  was  what  we  now  call  Maundy  Thursday,  which,  ac- 
cording to  the  best  authorities,  fell  at  the  period  of  our 
Lord's  Passion  on  the  22d  of  March  '  (Romsee,  ?v.  p.  207). 

1  The  Jews  always  celebrated  the  Passover  on  the  fourteenth  day  of  Nisan,  the  first 
month  of  their  ecclesiastical  year.    To  avoid  agreeing  with  them  in  our  celebration  of 

326  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

"  Took  bread  into  his  holy  and  venerable  hands." 
The  words  "took  bread"  are  given  by  the  Evangelists,  but 
the  remaining  ones  are  not.      They  are,  however,  of  very 
high  antiquity,  and  are  found  also  in  the  liturgies  of  the 

i(  With  eyes  uplifted  to  heaven  to  thee,  0  God!  his  Father 

These  words  are  not  found  in  Scripture,  but  it  has  been  a 
constant  tradition  that  whenever  our  Lord  was  about  to  per- 
form any  solemn  act  he  always  looked  up  to  heaven.  St. 
Matthew  (xiv.  19)  records  that  he  did  so  when  he  performed 
the  miracle  of  the  multiplication  of  the  loaves ;  and  St. 
John  records  the  same  of  him  at  the  resuscitation  of  Laza- 
rus (xi.  41).  The  particle  enim,  "for,"  in  both  forms  of 
consecration,  is  also  a  subsequent  insertion.  St.  Thomas 
Aquinas  says  {Quo3st.  78,  3)  that  it  was  added  by  St.  Peter. 
In  the  language  which  our  Lord  spoke  at  the  Last  Sup- 
per and  during  his  life  upon  earth — viz.,  the  Syriac — the 
consecration  of  both  species  was  effected  by  uttering  two 

Easter,  it  was  decided  at  the  Council  of  Nicsea,  in  a.d.  325,  that  the  latter  should  be 
celebrated  the  first  Sunday  after  the  first  full  moon  that  set  in  after  the  21st  of  March; 
according  to  which,  Easter  cannot  be  earlier  than  the  22d  of  this  month  nor  later 
than  the  25th  of  April.  By  the  Gregorian  style  (so-called  from  Pope  Gregory  XIII.), 
the  mode  of  reckoning  Easter  is  not  the  astronomical,  but  rather  the  absolute  mode, 
fn  order  that  the  celebration  may  take  place  on  the  same  day  throughout  the  entire 
Church,  which,  owing  to  the  difference  of  time  between  countries  far  apart,  could  not 
happen  if  the  astronomical  mode  were  followed.  Still,  for  all,  the  Gregorian  mode  is 
not  wholly  free  from  faults.  A  somewhat  defective  cycle  in  regard  to  the  months  was 
selected  on  account  of  its  great  simplicity,  which  clashes  very  considerably  with  the 
astronomical  computation,  for  by  the  latter  mode  the  Easter  full  moon  may  rise  two 
hours  after  the  time  calculated  by  the  calendar.  Thus,  it  may  be  at  one  o'clock  on 
Sunday  morning,  whilst  announced  to  take  place  at  eleven  o'clock  on  Saturday  night 
by  the  calendar  ;  in  which  case  Easter  would  be  celebrated  on  that  same  Sunday,  when 
it  ought  not  to  be  until  the  Sunday  following.  The  Gregorian  Calendar,  too,  in  some 
very  rare  cases,  makes  our  Easter  and  the  Jewish  Passover  agree  ;  as,  for  example, 
happened  in  the  year  1825.  It  is  impossible,  in  fact,  to  avoid  an  occurrence  of  thi> 
kind  now  without  upsetting  the  whole  new  style  of  reckoning. 

The  Consecration.  32? 

words  each  time ;  the  form  of  the  consecration  of  the  bread 
being  w*.v^oJ<r  —  honau  pagri,  and  of  the  wine,  *-io?  cJoi  — - 
honau  demi.  Whereupon  it  is  worth  remembering  that  the 
verb  "  is  "  does  not  stand  separate  by  itself,  but  is  incorpo- 
rated, in  each  case,  with  the  demonstrative  pronoun  "this," 
thus  leaving  no  room  for  doubt  as  to  what  our  Divine  Lord 
meant  when  he  pronounced  the  sacred  formula. 

"  Benedixit" — he  blessed. 

Touching  the  word  "benedixit"  employed  upon  this  occa- 
sion, and  in  virtue  of  which  both  bread  and  wine  are  blessed 
by  the  priest,  some  curious  opinions  have  been  advanced. 
Ambrosius  Catharinus,'  the  great  Dominican  theologian 
who  proposed  so  many  intricate  questions  at  the  Council  of 
Trent,  held  that  the  moment  our  Lord  pronounced  the 
blessing  over  each  element  at  the  Last  Supper  consecration 
took  place,  and  that  the  words,  "  This  is  my  Body,"  etc., 
were  merely  added  to  point  out  the  change  which  had  been 
effected.  Catharinus,  it  seems,  preferred  to  take  this  view 
of  the  matter,  in  order  not  to  make  it  appear  that  consecra- 
tion did  not  take  place  until  the  disciples  had  the  bread 
and  wine  in  their  own  hands,  which  would  certainly  involve 
an  incongruity.  St.  Augustine,  who  evidently  foresaw  the 
same  difficulty,  advanced  the  opinion  that  the  order  of  the 
words  may  have  been  different  from  that  given  by  the  Evan- 
gelists, and  that  probably  they  were  as  follows:  "He 
blessed,  saying,  *  This  is  my  Body ';  then  he  broke  and  gave 
to  his  disciples."  According  to  this,  consecration  took  place 
the  moment  "This  is  my  Body"  was  pronounced.  St. 
Thomas  Aquinas,  the  great  Doctor  of  the  Blessed  Eucharist, 

1  Catharinus  was  Archbishop  of  Compsa,  in  Italy,  in  the  year  1552.  He  made 
himself  famous  at  the  Council  of  Trent  for  the  very  intricate  theological  questions 
he  proposed  to  the  Fathers.  His  opinions  regarding  the  intention  of  the  minlfltef 
who  conferred  baptism  are  well  known. 

328  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

follows  the  same  line  of  thought  as  St.  Augustine,  and 
gives  the  order  of  words  as  follows  :  "  Taking  bread  into 
his  hands,  he  blessed  it,  saying,  'This  is  my  Body'";  so 
that,  according  to  the  Angelic  Doctor,  the  blessing  uttered 
on  this  occasion  was  also  the  formula  of  consecration. 
There  is  yet  another  view.  According  to  Fromondus  and 
others,  it  cannot  be  presumed  that  in  a  matter  of  such  grave 
moment  the  Evangelists  would  omit  the  slightest  particular, 
and  that  inasmuch  as  all  of  them  agree  in  narrating  the 
order  of  the  words  on  this  occasion,  it  is  not  lawful  to 
change  this  order  from  the  way  in  which  the  Gospels  give 
it ;  and  that,  therefore,  we  must  read  as  follows  :  "  He 
blessed"  by  invoking  the  name  of  his  Father  upon  the 
bread  in  order  that  it  should  become  his  Body  ;  "  he  broke  " 
into  as  many  parts  as  there  were  persons  to  communicate ; 
and,  thirdly,  "he  gave  to  his  disciples" — that  is,  mto  their 
hands — saying,  "  Take  ye  and  eat ;  this  is  my  Body." 
Whether  the  order  of  words  was  different  or  not,  at  the  Last 
Supper,  from  that  given  by  the  Evangelists  makes  but 
little  matter  to  us,  since  it  is  the  teaching  of  the  Church 
that  the  essential  form  of  consecration  is,  "This  is  my 
Body,"  and  of  the  chalice,  "This  is  my  Blood"  or  "This 
is  the  chalice  of  my  Blood,"  which  amounts  to  the  same 
thing  (see  Romsee,  iv.  p.  209).  As  far  as  relates  to  the  other 
question  sometimes  asked — viz.,  whether  our  Lord  made 
the  sign  of  the  cross  or  not  when  he  blessed,  as  we  do — it  is 
hardly  necessary  to  delay,  for  whether  he  did  or  not 
matters  little.  Most  probably  he  did  not  make  this  sign 
upon  that  occasion,  for  as  yet  the  cross  had  not  ob- 
tained its  efficacy. 

"  Fregit  "—He  broke. 
It  is  generally  held  that   our  Lord  on  this  occasion  made 
thirteen  divisions   of    the  Holy  Eucharist,   and    that    he 

The  Consecration.  329 

himself  communicated,  and  permitted  the  traitor  Judas  to 
communicate  with  the  rest.  The  Fathers  of  the  Eastern 
Church,  as  well  as  those  of  the  Western,  have  always  held 
this.  It  is  also  surmised  that  our  Lord  must  have  broken 
the  Sacred  Host  at  this  time  with  peculiar  and  impressive 
ceremonies  ;  for  it  is  narrated  of  the  disciples  who  supped 
with  him  at  Emmaus  that  their  eyes  were  opened,  and  that 
they  knew  him  m  the  breaking  of  bread. 

The  Ambrosians,  or  Milanese,  immediately  before  the 
"  qui  pridie  " — that  is,  a  moment  or  two  before  they  pro- 
nounce the  sacred  words  of  institution — go  to  the  E]3istle 
side  of  the  altar  and  wash  their  hands,  out  of  respect  for 
the  Host  which  they  are  soon  going  to  handle.  This  is 
the  only  rite  in  the  Church  where  such  a  custom  pre- 

A  very  important  question  that  calls  for  consideration 
here  is,  whether  the  words  of  consecration  are  pronounced 
by  the  priest  at  this  moment  narratively,  historically,  or 
significatively.  According  to  Pope  Benedict  XIV.,  they  are 
pronounced  in  the  last- mentioned  way,  that  is,  significative-' 
ly— significative  ;  and  that  hence  the  priest  who  pronoun- 
ces them  does  so  as  effectively  in  what  relates  to  conse^ 
oration  as  if  they  were  pronounced  by  our  Lord  himself 
(Enchiridion  de  Sacrif.  Miss.,  p.  71).  St.  Thomas  agrees 
with  this,  but  adds  that  they  are  also  pronounced  recitative- 
ly — recitative  (ibid.) 

We  should  have  said  before,  perhaps,  that  immediately 
after  the  priest  has  placed  the  Sacred  Host  on  the  corporal 
after  the  elevation,  he  joins  the  thumb  and  index  finger 
of  both  hands,  and  never  separates  them  from  that  time 
until  Communion  is  over,  unless  when  touching  the  Sacred 
Host.  This  is  done  out  of  respect  for  the  Blessed  Sacrament, 
as  well  as  to  avoid  the  danger  of  losing  any  minute  particles 
that  may  have  adhered  to  these  fingers. 

330  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 


As  much  of  what  we  have  said  of  the  consecration  of  the 
bread  applies  to  that  of  the  chalice  also,  it  will  be  only  ne- 
cessary to  dwell  upon  what  refers  to  the  chalice  directly  in 
the  following  remarks : 

"  This  is  the  Chalice  of  my  Blood." 

By  a  figure  of  speech  called  metonymy  the  container  is  here 
put  for  the  thing  contained,  so  that,  according  to  St. 
Thomas  (Qucest.  78,  iii.  art.  3),  the  real  form  would  be  : 
"  This  is  my  Blood  contained  in  the  chalice. " 

"JEterni  Testamenti  " — Eternal  testament. 

These  words  are  not  in  the  Holy  Scripture,  but  it  is  the  uni- 
versally received  opinion  that  they  were  added  by  some  of 
the  apostles,  and  this  to  point  out  directly  that  the  sacred 
priesthood  of  our  Divine  Lord  would  continue  for  ever,  in 
accordance  with  the  prophecy  expressed  in  the  One  hundred 
and  ninth  Psalm,  "  Thou  art  a  priest  for  ever  according  to 
the  order  of  Melchisedech."  There  is  also  allusion  here, 
by  way  of  opposition,  to  the  "  Old  Testament  "  which  was 
ratified  by  the  blood  of  bulls  and  goats  only,  not  by  the 
Blood  of  Christ. 

"  The  mystery  of  faith" 

The  Holy  Eucharist  is  called  the  "  mystery  of  faith  "  from 
the  fact  that  its  real  greatness  is  hidden  from  the  senses, 
and  nothing  is  left  to  enable  us  to  form  a  judgment  of  the 
extraordinary  change  which  has  been  wrought  any  more 
than  if  no  such  change  had  ever  taken  place.  All  is  left  to 
pure  faith  ;  and,  therefore,  well  may  it  be  called  a  mystery. 
How  beautifully  this  is  expressed  in  the  Lauda  Sion  of  St. 
Thomas  Aquinas : 

Consecration  of  the  Chalice.  331 

"  Quod  non  capis, 
Quod  non  vides, 
Animosa  firmat  fides, 
Praeter  rerum  ordinem." 

*  Which  for  you  and  for  many  shall  be  shed." 

According  to  the  best  authorities,  and  Pope  Benedict  XIV. 
among  others  {Enchirid.,  p.  72),  the  word  "many"  is  here 
to  be  taken  as  meaning  all,  a  mode  of  expression  by  no 
means  uncommon  in  the  Holy  Scripture.  St.  Thomas 
Aquinas  also  interprets  it  in  this  way.  If  taken  in  any  other 
sense  it  would  hardly  be  possible  to  keep  free  of  the  Calvin- 
is  tic  error  that  our  Lord  died  only  for  a  certain  class  of 

At  each  elevation  the  little  bell  is  rung  to  remind  the 
people  that  our  Lord  is  now  present  on  the  altar ;  and  the 
end  of  the  priest's  chasuble  is  lifted  up  by  the  server,  who 
kneels  for  this  purpose  (just  as  consecration  is  about  to  take 
place)  on  the  highest  step.  This  ceremony  of  lifting  the 
end  of  the  chasuble  is  not  observed  now  through  any  neces- 
sity whatever — for,  if  so,  there  would  be  as  strong  a  reason  for 
doing  it  at  every  other  part  of  the  Mass  at  which  the  priest 
genuflected — but  is  kept  up  merely  as  a  vestige  of  that  an- 
cient custom  of  having  the  deacon  and  subdeacon  hold  up 
the  priest's  robes  at  this  place  when  the  ample  and  long- 
flowing  form  of  chasuble  was  in  use.  This  was  required 
to  be  done  then  in  order  that  the  priest  might  not  be  im- 
peded in  any  way  at  the  solemn  moment  of  consecration, 
when  the  slightest  accident  might  cause  an  incalculable 
amount  of  distress*  In  some  places  the  practice  of  lift- 
ing the  chasuble  here  is  going,  or  has  already  gone, 
into  desuetude  ;  but  this  should  not  be  tolerated  for  a 
moment,  for  it  is  a  flagrant  act  of  supreme  disobedience 
*hich  no  authority  in  the  Church,  short  of  the  Pope  himself, 

332  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

could  sanction.  We  do  not  know  an  instance  in  which  the 
Rubrics  are  departed  from  without  a  sacrifice  of  real  beau- 
ty, for  which  reason  alone,  to  pass  over  many  others,  the 
slightest  innovation  in  this  respect  should  be  looked  up- 
on as  a  species  of  sacrilege,  and  should  in  no  case  be  al- 


We  have  stated  that  immediately  after  the  consecration 
the  blessed  Body  of  our  Lord  is  elevated  on  high  for  the 
adoration  of  the  people.  Before  the  eleventh  century  the 
elevation  did  not  take  place  at  this  part  of  the  Mass,  but 
only  at  the  "Omnis  honor  et  gloria,"  a  little  before  the 
"  Pater  noster,"  which  we  now  call  the  minor  elevation. 
The  present  discipline  was  introduced  as  a  solemn  protest 
against  Berengarius,  who  had  the  audacity  to  deny  Tran- 
substantiation.  It  first  began  in  France,  for  Berengarius 
was  a  native  of  that  country,  and  archdeacon  of  Angers  ; 
from  France  it  was  introduced  into  Germany,  and  from 
Germany  it  found  its  way  into  the  other  countries  of  Eu- 
rope, until  at  last  it  came  to  be  an  established  law  of 
the  Church,  binding  everywhere.  It  must  not,  however,  be 
supposed  that  when  the  new  discipline  of  elevating  the 
Sacred  Species  here  was  first  introduced  both  the  Host  and 
chalice  were  elevated.  Not  so  ;  for  quite  a  long  time  there 
was  no  elevation  at  all  here  of  the  chalice,  but  only  of  the 
Host — a  custom  which  we  yet  see  in  vogue  with  the  Carthu- 
sians.* The  elevation  of  one  species  was  considered  enough, 
inasmuch  as  our  Lord  was  as  complete  under  one  kind 
as  und^r  both  by  what  is  termed  concomitance;  but 
that  the  elevation  of  the  chalice  soon  followed  that  of  the 

*  It  muat  not  be  supposed  that  the  Carthusians  have  no  elevation  of  the  chalice  at 
all.  They  have,  and  that,  too,  at  the  regular  place,  hut  it  is  no  higher  than  what  vre 
observe  at  the  minor  elevation, 

Consecration  in  the  Eastern  Church,  333 

Host  there  is  every  reason  to  believe,  for  Durandus,  Bishop 
of  Mende,  whose  death  is  placed  at  1296,  makes  mention  of 
it  in  his  Rationale  Divinorum  (p.  265,  No.  52).  Then, 
again,  as  to  the  manner  of  elevating,  local  customs  varied. 
Some  covered  the  chalice  with  the  pall,  as  we  see  the  Moza- 
rabics  still  do. 

The  question  is  sometimes  asked,  Has  it  been  customary 
from  the  beginning  to  have  an  elevation  of  some  kind  ?  All 
are  agreed  that  it  has,  but  Cardinal  Bona  says  that  it  is  im- 
possible to  tell,  from  the  data  given,  whether  the  Sacred 
Species  were  raised  any  higher  than  they  are  now  at  what  we 
call  the  minor  elevation.  As  a  precedent  for  our  custom  of 
elevating  the  Sacred  Species  may  be  mentioned  the  practice 
which  obtained  in  the  old  law  of  lifting  the  victims  on 
high  at  the  regular  sacrifices  (Exod.  xxix.  ;  Levit.  vii.  and 


We  have  mentioned  in  our  Preface  that  where  validity  of 
orders  prevails  the  power  of  consecration  exists  indepen- 
dently of  either  schism  or  heresy ;  and  that,  consequently, 
in  all  the  churches  of  the  East  a  true  sacrifice  of  the  Mass 
may  be  looked  for,  and  as  veritable  a  Real  Presence  as  that 
which  we  have  the  happiness  to  enjoy. 

Strangely  enough,  nearly  all  the  Oriental  liturgies  men- 
tion the  mingling  of  water  with  the  wine  in  the  form  of  con- 
secration. "Thou  didst  take,"  says  the  Liturgy  of  St.  Gre- 
gory of  the  Alexandrine  family,  "the  chalice  and  mingle  it 
of  the  fruit  of  the  vine  and  water " ;  "In  like  manner, 
also,"  says  the  Syro- Jacobite  Liturgy  of  St.  Marutas,  "he 
took  wine,  and  when  he  had  mingled  it  in  just  proportion 
with  water,"  etc.,  and  so  on  with  several  others. 

It  is  customary  all  through  the  East  for  the  priest  to 
pronounce  the  words   of  consecration  aloud,  and  for  the 

334  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

people  to  answer  "  Amen  "  after  each  assertion  of  the  narra- 
tive portion.  Thus,  according  to  the  Liturgy  of  St.  Basil, 
the  arrangement  is  as  follows  :  "Priest:  He  blessed  it  j  Peo- 
ple :  Amen.  Priest :  And  sanctified  it ;  People  :  Amen. 
Priest :  And  tasted  it,  and  gave  to  his  disciples."  Where- 
upon it  is  also  worthy  of  remark  that  nearly  all  the  Eastern 
liturgies  mention  our  Lord's  communicating  upon  this  occa- 
sion as  well  as  his  disciples. 

In  an  Ethiopic  Liturgy,  called  the  Athanasian,  the  sacred 
words  of  consecration  are  thus  given:  "This  bread  is  my 
Body,  from  which  there  is  no  separating "  ;  and  of  the 
chalice  :  "  This  cup  is  my  Blood,  from  which  there  is  no 
dividing.  As  often  as  ye  eat  this  Bread  and  drink  this 
Chalice,  set  forth  my  death  and  my  resurrection,  and  con- 
fess my  ascension  to  heaven  and  my  coming  again  with 
glory  whilst  ye  await."  The  Armenian  form  thus  reads: 
"  Taking  bread  into  his  holy,  divine,  spotless,  and  venerable 
hands,  he  blessed,  and  gave  to  his  holy,  elect,  and  fellow- 
disciples,  saying,  '  This  is  my  Body,  which  for  you  and  for 
many  is  given  for  remission  and  pardon  of  sins. ' "  The 
consecration  of  the  chalice  is  worded  in  nearly  the  same 
way.  According  to  the  Liturgy  of  St.  Basil,  the  narration 
thus  goes  on  :  "  In  the  night  when  he  gave  himself  up  for 
the  life  of  the  world,  taking  bread  into  his  holy  and  spotless 
hands,  having  shown  it  to  thee,  his  God  and  Father,  having 
given  thanks,  blessed,  hallowed,  and  broken  it,  he  gave  it  to 
his  disciples  and  apostles,  saying,  '  Take,  eat ;  this  is  my 
Body,  which  is  broken  for  you  unto  the  remission  of  sins.'" 
And  of  the  chalice :  "  Likewise  taking  the  chalice  of  the 
fruit  of  the  vine,  having  mingled,  given  thanks,  blessed, 
and  hallowed  it,  he  gave  it  to  his  holy  disciples  and  apostles, 
saying,  i  Drink  ye  all  of  it,  for  this  is  my  Blood  of  the  New 
Testament,  which  is  shed  for  you  and  for  many  for  the  re- 
mission of  sins,"    In  the  Coptic  Liturgy  of  St.  Cyril  the 

Consecration  in  the  Eastern  Church.  335 

form  is  worded  as  follows  :  "He  took  bread  into  his  holy, 
immaculate,  pure,  blessed,  and  quickening  hands,  and 
looked  up  to  heaven,  to  thee  his  God  and  Father,  and  Lord 
of  all,  and  gave  thanks,  and  blessed,  and  sanctified  it,  and 
broke  it,  and  gave  to  his  holy  disciples  and  pure  apostles, 
saying,  '  Take,  eat  ye  all  of  this  ;  for  this  is  my  Body, 
which  shall  be  broken  for  you,  and  for  many  shall  be  given 
for  the  remission  of  sins.'"  The  form  according  to  the 
Liturgy  of  St.  James  is  almost  word  for  word  like  this  ; 
and  as  that  of  the  Liturgy  of  St.  Chrysostom  differs  hardly 
in  anything  from  our  own,  we  do  not  deem  it  necessary  to 
give  it. 

The  Elevation  in  the  Eastern  Church. — Nowhere  in  the 
Bast  does  the  elevation  take  place  immediately  after  conse- 
cration, as  with  ourselves,  but  only  before  the  Communion. 
As  the  solemn  moment  draws  near,  the  deacon  turns  round 
to  the  people  and  cries  with  full  compass  of  voice,  "  At- 
tendants !" — "Let  us  be  attentive."  In  some  places  this 
admonition  is  worded  :  "  Let  us  attend  with  the  fear  of 
God."  The  Ethiopians  say,  "  Inspiciamus  ! "  After  the 
admonition  follows  the  elevation,  which  all  the  churches  of 
the  East  observe  just  as  we  do,  with  this  difference  :  that 
while  perfect  silence  pervades  our  congregations  at  this 
solemn  moment,  in  theirs  the  noise  is  deafening,  for  both 
priest  and  people  are  shouting  at  the  highest  pitch  of  their 

When  the  Sacred  Host  is  first  raised  on  high,  the  priest 
cries  aloud,  " " Ayia  ayioiS,"  Hagia  hagiois — that  is, 
"Holy  things  for  holy  people" — to  which  the  people,  or 
rather  the  choir,  respond,  "  One  Holy,  one  Lord,  Jesus 
Christ  to  the  glory  of  God  the  Father."  According  to  the 
Syriac  Liturgy  of  St.  James,  which  all  the  Jacobites  follow, 
the  priest  exclaims,  "  Holy  things  are  given  for  holy  per- 
sons in  perfection,  purity,  and  holiness  "  ;  to  which  the  peo- 

336  TJie  Celebration  of  Mass. 

pie  respond,  "  One  Holy  Father,  one  Holy  Son,  one  Holy 
Ghost ;  blessed  be  the  name  of  the  Lord,  for  he  is  one  in 
heaven  and  on  earth  ;  glory  be  to  him  for  evermore."  At 
the  elevation  which  takes  place  with  the  Maronites  the 
priest,  raising  the  sacred  Host  aloft,  cries  out,  "Holy 
things  are  given  for  holy  people  in  perfection,  purity,  and 
sanctity  "  ;  to  which  the  people  respond,  "  One  Holy  Father, 
one  Holy  Son,  one  Holy  Ghost ;  glory  be  to  the  Father,  to 
the  Son,  and  to  the  Holy  Ghost."  When  elevating  the 
chalice  the  priest  says,  according  to  the  same  rite,  "Thus, 
0  Lord  !  in  truth  we  verily  believe  in  thee  just  as  believes 
in  thee  the  Holy  Catholic  Church,  that  thou  art  one  Holy 
Father,  to  whom  belongeth  glory,  Amen  ;  one  Holy  Son,  to 
whom  belongeth  glory,  Amen ;  one  Holy  Spirit,  to  whom 
belongeth  glory  and  thanksgiving  for  ever,  Amen."  The 
elevation  with  the  Maronites  takes  place  at  the  same  time 
as  it  does  all  over  the  East — viz.,  before  Communion. 
In  some  of  the  Oriental  churches  it  is  customary  for  the 
priest  to  turn  round  to  the  people  and  bless  them  three 
times  before  the  elevation  takes  place,  and  after  the  eleva- 
tion to  move  around,  with  the  sacred  Host  in  his  hands,  at 
the  centre  of  the  altar,  just  as  we  do  when  giving  bene- 
diction of  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  This  especially  obtains 
throughout  Syria  (Kenaudot,  Liturg.   Orient.,  ii.  p.  114). 

The  words,  "  One  Holy  Father,  one  Holy  Son,  one  Holy 
Ghost,"  common  to  all  the  Oriental  liturgies  with  hardly 
an  exception,  is  employed  as  a  profession  of  faith  in  the 
Adorable  Trinity.  The  Copts  at  this  place  make  a  profes- 
sion of  faith  in  the  Eeal  Presence,  which,  on  account  of  its 
singular  beauty,  we  give  word  for  word.  It  is  as  follows  : 
"  I  believe,  I  believe,  I  believe,  and  confess  to  the  last  breath 
of  my  life,  that  this  is  the  real,  life-giving  flesh  of  thy  Only- 
Begotten  Son,  our  Lord,  God,  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ; 
he  received  it  from  the  blessed  Lady  of  us  all,  the  Mother  of 

Consecration  in  the  Eastern   Church.  33? 

God,  and  ever  Virgin  Mary."  It  is  customary,  too,  in  the 
East,  as  with  many  of  our  own  congregations,  to  strike  the 
breast  with  the  hand  as  the  Host  is  elevated.  In  one  of  the 
Coptic  versions  of  the  Liturgy  of  St.  Basil  a  rubric  on  this 
head  thus  reads :  "  Then  [that  is,  at  the  elevation]  the 
priest  will  take  the  Isbodicon  [i.e.,  the  Holy  Body]  in  his 
hands,  and  will  raise  it  aloft  as  far  as  he  can  stretch  his 
arms,  with  head  inclined,  and  will  shout  with  full  compass 
of  voice,  ( Holy  things  for  holy  people  ! '  All  the  people  will 
incline  their  heads,  adoring  their  Lord  in  fear  and  trem- 
bling, and  asking  with  tears,  with  earnestness,  and  with  the 
striking  of  their  breasts  the  remission  of  their  sins,  and 
their  confirmation  in  the  orthodox  faith  unto  the  last  breath 
of  life"  (Renaudot,  i.  p.  245).  On  Sundays  the  rubric 
calls  for  only  a  simple  genuflection,  but  on  week-days  the 
Copts  are  required  to  bow  their  heads  down  to  the  ground 
at  this  place.  The  crying  out  at  the  elevation,  which  varies 
slightly  with  the  different  churches,  is  intended  by  the  Ori- 
entals to  commemorate  the  cry  of  the  penitent  thief  when 
our  Lord  was  raised  on  the  cross  beside  him.  In  many 
places  they  exclaim  :  u  0  God,  be  merciful  to  me  a  sinner  ! " 
Sometimes  the  very  words  of  the  holy  thief  are  used,  viz. : 
"Lord,  remember  me  when  thou  readiest  thy  kingdom" 
(ibid.  i.  p.  246).  That  the  ringing  of  bells,  also,  is  ob- 
served in  the  East  when  consecration  takes  place  we  learn 
from  various  writers.  Neale  makes  special  mention  of  this 
practice  as  prevailing  among  the  Ethiopians  and  Syrians 
(Hist,  of  the  Holy  Eastern  Church,  i.  p.  517). 

The  Orientals  say  but  little  about  the  elevation  of  the 
chalice,  for  the  reason  that  they  look  upon  itself  and  the 
Host  as  one  and  the  same  thing ;  but  that  the  elevation  of 
it  is  observed  by  them  their  liturgies  clearly  show.  In  that 
of  St.  Xystus,  for  example,  the  chalice  is  elevated  with  these 
Words:  "0  Lord  !  we  belie ve,  and  believe  in  truth,  just  as 

338  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

thy  Holy  Catholic  Church  believes  in  thee,  that  there  is  one 
Holy  Father  ;  one  Holy  Son  ;  one  Holy  Ghost ;  glory  to  the 
Father,  and  to  the  Son,  and  to  the  Holy  Ghost,  who  are  one 
for  ever  and  ever."  This  agrees  almost  wholly  with  what  is 
Baid  at  the  elevation  of  the  chalice  in  the  Maronite  Church. 

We  have  said  that  the  words  of  consecration  are  pro- 
nounced aloud  in  the  East.  It  must  not,  however,  be  sup- 
posed that  the  rest  of  the  Mass  is  pronounced  in  this  man- 
ner. Not  so ;  for  the  Orientals  say  a  great  number  of 
prayers  in  secret,  as  we  ourselves  do,  and  only  break  silence 
at  those  places  where  the  people  are  accustomed  to  join  in 
and  respond.  Nothing  is  more  common  in  the  liturgies  of 
the  East  than  the  admonition,  "  Let  all  in  fear  and  silence 
stand  and  pray." 


This  is  the  first  prayer  the  priest  recites  after  the  eleva- 
tion has  taken  place,  and  he  does  so  with  hands  extended  as 
when  reciting  the  collects,  only  that,  as  we  have  already 
stated,  the  thumb  and  index  finger  of  each  hand  are  joined 
together.  The  Carthusians,  Carmelites,  and  Dominicans 
recite  it  with  outstretched  arms  in  the  form  of  a  cross — a 
custom  which  was  also  in  vogue  under  the  Sarum  Rite.  At 
the  words  "  a  pure  Host,  a  holy  Host,  an  immaculate  Host ; 
the  holy  Bread  of  life  eternal,  and  the  Chalice  of  perpetual 
salvation,"  the  sign  of  the  cross  is  made  five  different  times 
— three  times  over  the  Host  and  chalice  conjointly,  and  once 
over  each  of  them  singly.  Many  curious  questions  are  asked 
about  the  meaning  of  these  crosses  at  this  place.  That  they 
are  not  intended  as  blessings  all  are  agreed,  because  neither 
Host  nor  chalice  needs  a  blessing  now  ;  but  as  to  their  pre- 
cise import  opinions  vary  very  much.  According  to  the 
majority  of  liturgists,  they  must  be  accounted  for  wholly  In 
a  mystic  manner,  as  commemorative  of  the  Passion  of  our 

"Unde  et  Memores."  339 

Lord,  the  five  recalling  to  mind,  as  St.  Thomas  Aquinas 
says,  and  others  repeat  after  him,  the  Five  Wounds.  Fathei 
Le  Brim,  in  that  truly  excellent  work  of  his  entitled  Expli- 
cation des  Prieres  et  des  Ceremonies  de  la  Messe,  torn.  ii. 
p.  232,  gives  as  beautiful  an  explanation  of  these  crosses  as 
any  that  we  have  seen.  His  words  are  :  "  When  we  make  five 
signs  of  the  cross  at  this  prayer,  the  first,  in  saying  '  Hos- 
tiam  puram,'  points  out  that  there  lies  the  pure  Victim 
which  was  nailed  to  the  cross ;  the  second,  in  saying  '  Hos- 
tiam  sanctam,'  indicates  that  there  lies  the  Victim  which  was 
offered  up  on  the  cross ;  the  third,  in  saying  '  Hostiam  im- 
maculatam/  indicates  that  this  is  the  Victim  without  blem- 
ish which  was  immolated  on  the  cross ;  the  fourth,  at 
'  Panem  sanctum,'  shows  that  we  have  before  us  the  holy 
Bread  of  Life — that  is  to  say,  Him  who  said,  ' I  am  the  true 
Bread  of  Life,  who  descended  from  Heaven  and  died  upon 
the  cross  to  give  you  life ' ;  and  the  fifth,  at  '  Calicem  salu- 
tis,'  is  intended  to  show  that  the  Blood  which  is  contained 
in  the  chalice  is  the  very  same  that  was  shed  upon  the  cross 
for  the  redemption  of  the  world."  In  one  word,  then, 
crosses  made  before  consecration  are  always  symbolic  of 
blessing  or  are  such  in  reality ;  after  consecration  they 
signify  that  the  blessed  Victim  who  suffered  on  the  cross 
is  now  lying  before  us  on  the  altar. 

Crosses  made  after  Consecration  in  the  Oriental  Church. — 
From  the  fact  that  many,  even  within  the  Church,  have 
looked  upon  these  crosses  as  an  idle  and  useless  observance 
it  is  a  great  relief  to  us  to  find  that  they  are  also  employed 
by  the  Orientals.  A  rubric  on  this  head  in  the  Liturgy  of 
St.  Basil  reads  as  follows  :  "  Then  the  deacon,  bowing  his 
head,  points  to  the  holy  bread  with  his  stole  and  says  se- 
cretly, 'Sir,  bless  the  holy  bread/  and  the  priest,  stand- 
ing up,  signs  the  holy  gifts,  saying  secretly,  '  This  bread  is 
the   Precious   Body  itself  of  our   Lord   and   God  and  Sa- 

340  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

viour  Jesus  Christ.'"  Deacon:  "Sir,  bless  the  chalice/' 
Priest:  "This  chalice  is  the  Precious  Blood  itself  of  our 
Lord  and  God  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ."  After  this  both 
Host  and  chalice  are  blessed  conjointly,  as  with  ourselves ; 
so  that,  in  fact,  our  interpretation  of  these  crosses  entirely 
agrees  with  that  of  the  Orientals.  We  do  not  deem  it  ne- 
cessary to  lengthen  our  pages  by  giving  any  more  examples 
of  this  practice ;  let  it  suffice  to  say  that  it  may  be  seen  in 
all  the  Eastern  liturgies. 


The  only  thing  that  deserves  special  notice  in  this  prayer 
is  the  allusion  made  to  the  sacrifices  of  Abel,  Abraham,  and 
Melchisedech ;  and  these  are  mentioned  because  they  refer 
more  directly  than  any  of  the  other  sacrifices  of  the  old  law 
to  the  sacrifice  we  offer  in  the  Mass.  For,  in  the  first  place, 
the  blood  of  Abel,  the  just  man,  wantonly  shed  by  his  bro-  I 
ther  Cam,  very  forcibly  recalls  to  mind  the  iniquity  of  the 
Jews  in  shedding  the  blood  of  our  innocent  Saviour,  who, 
according  to  the  flesh,  was  a  kinsman  of  their  own.  Then, 
again,  as  Abel  offered  to  God  the  firstlings  of  his  flock 
(Genesis  iv.  4),  he  aptly  prefigures  our  Lord,  who,  as  St. 
Paul  says,  "was  the  first-bom  among  many  brethren"  (Rom. 
viii.  29).  The  holy  Patriarch  Abraham  leading  up  his  only 
son,  Isaac,  to  immolate  him  on  the  mount,  specially  prefig- 
ures the  Eternal  Father  immolating  his  Only-Begotten  Son, 
3ur  Lord  and  God,  for  our  sake ;  and  Isaac  carrying  the 
wood  upon  which  he  was  to  be  sacrificed  represents  our  Sa- 
viour carrying  his  cross  to  Calvary. 

The  allusion  to  the  sacrifice  of  Melchisedech  is  full  of  im- 
port. He  is  mentioned  in  Scripture  as  a  priest  of  the  Most 
High,  without  father  or  mother,  without  genealogy  of  any 
kind,  and  without  beginning  or  end  of  days.  Herein  he  is 
a  most  striking  figure  of  our  Lord,  of  whom  the  Scripture 

"  8upplic$8  te  Jlogamus,"  3^j 

lays:  "Who  shall  declare  his  generation?"    But  there  is 
yet  a  still  closer  resemblance  between  Melchisedech  and  our 
Lord.     The  former  was  king  and  priest  at  the  same  time. 
Our   Lord   is   king   and   priest   also.      The   king  of   Salem 
offered  bread  and  wine  in  virtue  of  his  being  a  priest  of  the 
Most  High ;  our  Lord  offers  himself  in  the  Holy  Mass  un- 
ler  the  same  species,  and  is  styled  by  the  royal   Psalmist 
"a  pried  for  ever  according  to  the  order  of  Melchisedech" 
(Ps.  cix.)     The  last  words  of  the  prayer— viz.,  "Sanctum 
sacrificium,  immaculatam  Hostiam "— were  added  by  Pope 
Leo  the  Great  (fifth  century).     They  refer,  as  is  evident, 
not  to  the  sacrifices  of  the  old  law  here  mentioned,  but  to 
the  Holy  Sacrifice  of  the  Mass,  where  our  Lord,   the  Im- 
maculate Lamb,  is  the  victim. 


Whilst  reciting  the  first  part  of  this  prayer  the  priest  is 
bowed  profoundly,  with  his  hands  resting  upon  the  altar, 
and  when  he  comes  to  the  words,  "ex  hac  altaris  participa- 
tione,"  he  kisses  the  altar,  and,  having  become  erect,  makes 
the  sign  of  the  cross  upon  himself  at  the  same  time  that  he 
pronounces  the  words,  "omni  benedictione  ccelesti  et  gratia 
repleamur."  In  English  this  entire  prayer  is  rendered  as 
follows  :  "We  humbly  beseech  thee,  0  Almighty  God  !  that 
thou  wouldst  command  these  gifts  to  be  carried  by  the 
hands  of  thy  holy  angel  to  thy  altar  on  high,  before  the 
sight  of  thy  Divine  Majesty,  that  all  of  us  who  by  this  par- 
ticipation shall  receive  the  most  holy  Body  and  Blood  of 
thy  Son  may  be  enriched  with  every  heavenly  blessing  and 
grace,  through  the  same  Christ  our  Lord.  Amen."  As  to 
who  the  holy  angel  mentioned  here  is,  a  diversity  of  opinion 
exists.  Some  say  that  it  is  the  angel  deputed  by  God  to 
watch  over  the  Sacrifice  after  the  maimer  in  which  blessed 
spirits  of  this  name  were  appointed  to  watch  over  the  sacn- 

342  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

fices  of  the  old  law,  as  we  read  in  various  parts  of  Scripture 
(see  Genesis  xxii.  11;  Judges  vi.  and  xiii. ;  and  St,  Luke  i.) ; 
but,  according  to  the  vast  majority  of  commentators,  the  holy 
angel  referred  to  is  none  other  than  our  Lord  himself,  who 
is  styled  "  the  Angel  of  the  Great  Council  "  in  Holy  Writ 
(Romsee,  iv.  p.  231).  The  Carmelites  and  Dominicans,  while 
reciting  the  first  part  of  this  prayer,  bow  down  and  cross 
their  arms  one  over  the  other  (brachiis  cancellatis)  before 
their  breast. 

When  an  explanation  was  demanded  of  the  Greeks  at  the 
Council  of  Florence,  in  1439,  of  their  prayer  which  asks 
God  to  make  the  bread  the  Precious  Body  and  the  chalice 
the  Precious  Blood  of  Christ,  and  all  this  after  they  had 
become  such  already  by  consecration,  they  objected  the 
wording  of  the  prayer  now  under  consideration — viz.,  the 
"Supplices  te  rogamus" — contending  that  theirs  could  be 
as  easily  defended  as  this.  As  they  fully  acquiesced,  how- 
ever, in  the  teaching  that  the  sacred  words  of  institution— 
viz.,  "  tovro  yap  iari  to  aob;j.a  /tov,"  touto  gar  esti  to 
soma  mou — are  alone  the  efficient  cause  of  transubstantia- 
tion,  the  Fathers  of  the  Latin  Church  did  not  deem  it  neces- 
sary to  push  the  motion  before  the  council  any  further,  and 
so  they  allowed  the  prayer  alluded  to  to  stand  where  it  was 
in  all  the  Greek  liturgies,  instead  of  changing  it  to  some 
earlier  part  of  the  Canon. 


Another  strange  custom  which  prevails  with  the  Greeks 
is  the  mining  of  warm  water  with  the  chalice  after  consecra- 
tion. They  mingle  a  few  drops  of  ordinary  water  with  the 
wine  at  the  beginning  of  Mass,  as  we  do.  and  for  the  sam< 
literal  and  mystical  reasons ;  but  the  adding  of  warm  watei 
besides,  and  that,  too,  after  consecration  has  taken  place,  it 

Memento  for  the  Dead.  343 

to  say  the  least  of  it,  very  strange — we  were  about  to  say 
very  offensive.  There  was  a  spirited  discussion  about  tins 
ceremony  at  the  Council  of  Florence,  for  the  Latin  Fathers 
severely  reprehended  it,  and  were  at  first  fully  determined 
to  compel  the  Greeks  to  abolish  it  before  the  decree  for  the 
reunion  of  the  churches  would  be  made  out  and  ratified. 
Dorotheus,  Bishop  of  Mitylene,  however,  made  so  eloquent 
and  satisfactory  a  defence  of  the  practice  that  he  gained  all 
the  Fathers  to  his  side ;  and  as  the  Pope  himself  expressed 
his  admiration  of  the  defence,  the  custom  was  approved  of, 
and  so  it  is  still  kept  up  by  the  Greeks. 

The  words  employed  in  adding  this  warm  water  suggest 
its  mystic  meaning.  They  are:  "The  fervor  of  faith,  full 
of  the  Holy  Ghost.  Amen."  This  is  repeated  thrice,  and 
the  water  is  poured  in  in  the  form  of  a  cross.  Speaking  of 
this  ceremony,  St.  Germanus  writes  as  follows  :  "  As  blood 
and  warm  water  flowed  together  from  the  side  of  Christy 
thus  hot  water  poured  into  the  chalice  at  the  time  of  conse- 
cration gives  a  full  type  of  the  mystery  to  those  who  draw 
that  holy  liquid  from  the  chalice  as  from  the  life-giving 
side  of  our  Lord  "  ( Translation  of  the  Primitive  Liturgies, 
p.  120,  by  Neale  and  Littledale ;  Goar,  Euchol.  Grcec,  p. 
148).  As  the  latter-named  author  gives  a  full  history  of 
this  rite,  he  may  be  consulted  with  advantage. 


As  he  begins  to  recite  this  prayer  the  priest  moves  his 
hands  slowly  before  his  face,  so  as  to  have  them  united  at 
the  words,  "in  somno  pacis."  This  gentle  motion  of  the 
hands  is  aptly  suggestive  here  of  the  slow,  lingering  motion 
of  a  soul  preparing  to  leave  the  body,  and  the  final  union  of 
the  hands  forcibly  recalls  to  mind  the  laying  down  of  the 
body  in  its  quiet  slumber  in  the  earth.  As  this  prayer  is 
very  beautiful,  we  transcribe  it  in  full.     It  is  thus  worded  r 

344  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

"  Remember  also,  0  Lord  !  thy  servants,  male  and  female, 
who  have  gone  before  us  with  the  sign  of  faith  and  sleep 
in  the  sleep  of  peace,  N.  N. ;  to  them,  0  Lord  !  and  to  all 
who  rest  in  Christ,  we  beseech  thee  to  grant  a  place  of  re- 
freshment, light,  and  peace ;  through  the  same  Christ  our 
Lord.  Amen."  At  the  letters  "N.  N."  the  names  of  the 
particular  persons  to  be  prayed  for  among  the  departed  were 
read  out  from  the  diptychs  in  ancient  times.  When  the 
priest  comes  to  them  now  he  does  not  stop,  but  pauses 
awhile  at  "iu  somno  pacis"  to  make  his  private  memento  of 
those  whom  he  wishes  to  pray  for  in  particular,  in  which  he 
is  to  be  guided  by  the  same  rules  that  directed  him  in  making 
ills  memento  for  the  living,  only  that  here  he  cannot  pray  for 
the  conversion  of  any  one,  as  he  could  there,  for  this  solely 
relates  to  the  dead  who  are  detained  in  Purgatory.  Should 
the  Holy  Sacrifice  be  offered  for  any  soul  among  the  de- 
parted which  could  not  be  benefited  by  it,  either  because  of 
the  loss  of  its  eternal  salvation  or  its  attainment  of  the  ever- 
lasting joys  of  heaven,  theologians  commonly  teach  that  in 
that  case  the  fruit  of  the  Mass  would  enter  the  treasury 
of  the  Church,  and  be  applied  afterwards  in  such  indulgen- 
ces and  the  like  as  Almighty  God  might  suggest  to  the  dis- 
pensers of  his  gifts  (Suarez,  Disp.  xxxviii.  sec.  8). 

We  beg  to  direct  particular  attention  here  to  the  expres- 
sion "  sleep  of  peace."  That  harsh  word  death  which  we 
now  use  was  seldom  or  never  heard  among  the  early  Chris- 
tians when  talking  of  their  departed  brethren.  Death  to 
them  was  nothing  else  but  a  sleep  until  the  great  day  of  re- 
surrection, when  all  would  rise  up  again  at  the  sound  of  the 
angel's  trumpet ;  and  this  bright  idea  animated  their  minds 
and  enlivened  all  their  hopes  when  conversing  with  their 
absent  friends  in  prayer.  So,  too,  with  the  place  of  in- 
terment ;  it  was  not  called  by  that  hard  name  that  dis- 
tinguishes it  too  often  now — viz.,  the  grave  yard — but  was 

Memento  for  the  Dead.  345 

called  by  the  milder  term  of  cemetery,  which,  from  its 
Greek  derivation,  means  a  dormitory,  or  sleeping-place.  Nor 
was  the  word  bury  employed  to  signify  the  consigning  of  the 
body  to  the  earth.  No,  this  sounded  too  profane  in  the  ears 
of  the  primitive  Christians ;  they  rather  chose  the  word  de- 
pose, as  suggestive  of  the  treasure  that  was  put  away  until 
it  pleased  God  to  turn  it  to  better  use  on  the  final  reckoning 
day.  The  old  Teutonic  expression  for  cemetery  was,  to  say 
the  least  of  it,  very  beautiful.  The  blessed  place  was  called 
in  this  tongue  Gottes-acker — that  is,  God's  field — for  the 
reason  that  the  dead  were,  so  to  speak,  the  seed  sown  in 
the  ground  from  which  would  spring  the  harvest  reaped 
on  the  day  of  general  resurrection  in  the  shape  of  glori- 
fied bodies.  According  to  this  beautiful  notion,  the  stone 
which  told  who  the  departed  person  was  that  lay  at  rest 
beneath,  was  likened  to  the  label  that  was  hung  up  on  a 
post  by  the  farmer  or  gardener  to  tell  the  passer-by  the  name 
of  the  flower  that  was  deposited  beneath.  This  happy  appli- 
cation of  the  word  sleep  to  death  runs  also  through  Holy 
Scripture,  where  we  frequently  find  such  expressions  as 
"He  slept  with  his  fathers";  "I  have  slept  and  I  am  re- 
freshed," applied  from  the  third  Psalm  to  our  Divine  Lord's 
time  in  the  sepulchre;  the  "sleep  of  peace";  "he  was 
gathered  to  his  fathers,"  etc.  (For  a  very  interesting  article 
on  this  subject  see  The  Catholic  World,  November,  1872.) 

Memento  of  the  Dead  in  the  Oriental  Church. — The 
prayers  of  the  Orientals  for  the  faithful  departed  are  sin- 
gularly touching.  In  the  Coptic  Liturgy  of  St.  Basil  the 
memento  is  worded  thus:  "In  like  manner,  0  Lord!  re- 
member also  all  those  who  have  already  fallen  asleep  in  the 
priesthood  and  amidst  the  laity ;  vouchsafe  to  give  rest  to 
their  souls  in  the  bosoms  of  our  holy  fathers  Abraham, 
Isaac,  and  Jacob ;  bring  them  into  a  place  of  greenness  by 
the  waters  of  comfort,  in  the  paradise  of  pleasure  where 

346  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

grief  and  misery  and  sighing  are  banished,  in  the  brightness 
of  the  saints."  The  Orientals  are  very  much  attached  to 
ancient  phraseology,  and  hence  their  frequent  application 
of  "the  bosom  of  Abraham"  to  that  middle  state  of  purifi- 
cation in  the  next  life  which  we  universally  designate  by  the 
name  of  Purgatory.  In  the  Syro- Jacobite  Liturgy  of  Johr 
Bar-Maadan  part  of  the  memento  is  worded  thus  :  "  Reckon 
them  among  the  number  of  thine  elect ;  cover  them  with 
the  bright  cloud  of  thy  saints  ;  set  them  with  the  lambs  on 
thy  right  hand,  and  bring  them  into  thy  habitation."  The 
following  extract  is  taken  from  the  Liturgy  of  St.  Chrysos- 
tom,  which,  as  we  have  said  already,  all  the  Catholic  and 
schismatic  Greeks  of  the  East  follow  :  "  Eemember  all  those 
that  are  departed  in  the  hope  of  the  resurrection  to  eternal 
life,  and  give  them  rest  where  the  light  of  thy  countenance 
shines  upon  them."  But  of  all  the  Orientals  the  place  of 
honor  in  this  respect  must  be  yielded  to  the  Nestorians  ;  for, 
heretics  as  they  are,  too  much  praise  cannot  be  given  them 
for  the  singular  reverence  they  show  toward  their  de- 
parted brethren.  From  a  work  of  theirs  called  the  Sin* 
hados,  which  Badger  quotes  in  his  Nestorians  and  their 
Rituals,  we  take  the  following  extract:  "The  service  of 
the  third  day  of  the  dead  is  kept  up,  because  Christ  rose  on 
the  third  day.  On  the  ninth  day,  also,  there  should  be  a 
commemoration,  and  again  on  the  thirtieth  day,  after  the 
example  of  the  Old  Testament,  since  the  people  mourned  for 
Moses  that  length  of  time.  A  year  after,  also,  there  should 
be  a  particular  commemoration  of  the  dead,  and  some  of  the 
property  of  the  deceased  should  be  given  to  the  poor  in  re- 
membrance of  him.  We  say  this  of  believers ;  for  as  to 
unbelievers,  should  all  the  wealth  of  the  world  be  given  to 
the  poor  in  their  behalf  it  would  profit  them  nothing." 
The  Armenians  call  Purgatory  by  the  name  Gay  an — that  is, 
a  mansion.      The   Chaldeans  style  it  Matthar,  the  exact 

"Nobis  quoque  Peccatoribus."  34? 

equivalent  of  our  term.  By  some  of  the  other  Oriental 
churches  it  is  called  Kavaran,  or  place  of  penance  ;  and 
Makraran,  a  place  of  purification  (Smith  and  D  wight,  i. 
p.  169). 

We  could  multiply  examples  at  pleasure  to  prove  that 
there  is  no  church  in  the  East  to  which  the  name  of  Chris- 
tian can  be  given  that  does  not  look  upon  praying  for  the 
faithful  departed,  and  offering  the  Holy  Mass  for  the  repose 
of  their  souls,  as  a  sacred  and  solemn  obligation.  Protes- 
tants who  would  fain  believe  otherwise,  and  who  not  unfre- 
quently  record  differently  in  their  writings  about  the  Ori- 
ental Christians,  can  verify  our  statements  by  referring  to 
any  Eastern  liturgy  and  examining  for  themselves.  We  con- 
clude our  remarks  on  this  head  by  a  strong  argument  in 
point  from  a  very  unbiassed  Anglican  minister — Eev.  Dr. 
John  Mason  Neale.  Speaking  of  prayers  for  the  dead  in  his 
work  entitled  A  History  of  the  Holy  Eastern  Church  (gene- 
eral  introduction,  vol.  i.  p.  509),  this  candid-speaking  man 
uses  the  following  language  :  "I  am  not  now  going  to 
prove,  what  nothing  but  the  blindest  prejudice  can  deny, 
that  the  Church,  east,  west,  and  south,  has  with  one  con- 
sentient and  universal  voice,  even  from  apostolic  times, 
prayed  in  the  Holy  Eucharist  for  the  departed  faithful. " 
Would  that  we  had  more  of  such  candid-speaking  men  in- 
stead of  those  modern  sciolists  who  travel  east  and  west 
and  afterwards  record  their  observations  as  if  they  had  eyes 
and  saw  not ! 


At  the  initial  words  of  this  prayer  the  priest  breaks 
silence  for  the  first  time  since  he  began  the  Canon,  but  only 
while  he  is  saying  the  words  "  to  us  also  sinners,"  at  which 
he  strikes  his  breast  as  the  poor  publican  in  the  Gospel  did 
When  he  went  up  to  the  temple  to  pray.     In  many  parts  of 

348  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

Ireland  it  is  customary  for  the  person  serving  Mass  to  an- 
swer, "  Parce  nobis,  Domine" — "Spare  us,  0  Lord!" — at 
this  place  ;  but  the  origin  of  the  custom  we  have  never  been 
able  to  trace,  nor  is  it  spoken  of  by  any  liturgist  whom  we 
have  consulted.  The  precise  reason  for  breaking  silence  here 
has  never  been  satisfactorily  explained.  All  that  liturgical 
writers  say  of  it  is  that  it  is  intended  to  commemorate  the 
humble  cry  for  mercy  of  the  penitent  thief  on  the  cross  ; 
but  from  all  we  have  seen  about  it  in  the  ancient  Eoman 
ordinals,  and  in  other  works  of  a  like  nature,  we  are  in- 
clined to  think  that  it  was  originally  intended  as  a  sort  of 
signal  for  the  minor  ministers  of  the  Mass  to  attend  to  some 
particular  duty  at  that  time.  Eomsee  intimates  that  it 
might  have  been  used  as  an  admonition  for  the  people  to 
enter  into  themselves  and  bewail  their  offences  together  with 
the  priest.  An  ancient  Roman  ordo  has  the  following  words 
upon  this  matter,  from  which  our  opinion  derives  some 
strength:  "When  he  shall  say,  ' Nobis  quoque  peccatoribus,' 
the  subdeacons  rise."  The  Carthusians  do  not  raise  their 
voice  here  at  all,  but  simply  strike  the  breast ;  and  this  is 
also  the  custom  at  the  cathedral  church  of  Lyons. 

The  force  of  the  word  quoque,  "also,"  employed  here, 
depends  on  the  connection  of  this  prayer  with  the  preceding 
one,  as  if  it  were  said,  "  We  have  prayed  for  a  place  of  rest 
and  peace  for  our  departed  brethren  ;  we  also  pray  for  a 
similar  favor  in  behalf  of  ourselves,  in  order  that  we  may 
become  associated  with  thy  holy  apostles  and  martyrs,"  etc. 
As  it  is  necessary  for  a  priest  to  know  exactly  who  the  saints 
are  that  are  mentioned  in  this  prayer,  and  also  in  the 
"  Communicantes,"  in  order  to  be  able  to  bow  the  head 
when  Mass  is  celebrated  on  the  recurrence  of  their  festivals, 
or  a  commemoration  is  made  of  them  in  another  Mass,  we 
have  deemed  it  proper  to  give  a  brief  sketch  of  their  lives. 

First,  as  to  who  the  St.   John  is  that  occurs  here.     For 

St.  John  the  Baptist.  349 

quite  a  long  time  it  remained  undecided  whether  this 
was  St.  John  the  Evangelist  or  St.  John  the  Baptist, 
and  many  weighty  opinions  lay  on  both  sides.  Pope  In- 
nocent III.,  speaking  as  an  ordinary  liturgical  scholar, 
maintained  that  it  was  St.  John  the  Evangelist.  He 
was  named  first,  according  to  this  Pontiff,  as  an  apostle  in 
the  prayer  "  Communicantes,"  and  here,  again,  as  a  vir- 
gin disciple.  Others  held,  too,  that  it  was  the  Evangelist 
who  was  mentioned,  not  on  account  of  his  virginity,  but 
simply  because  he  was  looked  upon  as  having,  in  a  manner, 
died  twice  :  first,  when  plunged  into  the  caldron  of  boiling 
oil  by  order  of  Domitian,  from  which,  however,  he  was  mir- 
aculously preserved ;  and,  secondly,  when  he  died  a  natural 
death  at  Ephesus.  This  latter  opinion  never  had  many 
supporters,  and,  we  think,  deservedly.  The  principal  objec- 
tion to  naming  St.  John  the  Baptist  here  was  that  he  was 
not,  strictly  speaking,  a  saint  of  the  new  law,  having  been 
put  to  death  before  the  Passion  of  our  Lord.  The  question 
remained  thus  unsettled  for  a  long  time,  with  opinions 
on  both  sides  (by  far  the  weightier,  however,  on  the  side  of 
the  Evangelist),  until  at  last  the  decision  of  the  Sacred 
Congregation  of  Rites  was  asked  in  the  matter.  When  the 
question  was  first  proposed — viz.,  in  April,  1823 — it  responded, 
"  Dilata,"  that  is,  that  the  answer  was  held  over  for  fur- 
ther consideration.  In  March,  1824,  it  replied  that  the 
saint  mentioned,  and  at  whose  name  a  reverence  should  be 
made,  was  St.  John  the  Baptist.  After  this  decision  had 
appeared  all  further  discussion  ceased.  The  question  was 
settled.  The  Church  has  instituted  two  special  feasts  in 
honor  of  the  Baptist  :  the  one,  that  of  his  nativity,  on  June 
24  ;  the  other,  of  his  decollation,  or  beheading,  on  August 
.  29.  Part  of  the  precursor's  head  is  said  to  be  kept  in  the 
Church  of  St.  Sylvester  at  Rome,  and  another  part  at 
Amiens,  in  France. 

350  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

St.  Stephen,  December  26. — This  saint  is  generally  dis- 
tinguished by  the  title  of  proto martyr,  from  the  fact  that 
he  was,  strictly  speaking,  the  first  martyr  of  the  new  law 
who  suffered  publicly  for  the  faith.  His  relics  were  con- 
veyed from  Jerusalem  to  Rome  some  four  hundred  years 
after  his  death  ;  and  when  deposited  beside  those  of  the 
holy  martyr  St.  Lawrence,  a  pious  legend  says  that  the 
latter  moved  to  the  left  in  order  to  yield  the  place  of  honor 
to  the  protomartyr,  for  which  reason  the  Romans  styled 
St.  Lawrence  II  cortese  Spagniolo — that  is,  the  polite 
Spaniard — for  he  was  of  that  nation.  The  Feast  of  St. 
Stephen  used  anciently  to  be  called  "straw  day"  in  the 
South  of  France,  from  a  custom  that  prevailed  there  of 
blessing  straw  on  that  day.  Throughout  England  and  Ire- 
land it  was  known  as  "  wrennmg  day,"  from  the  very 
singular  custom  of  hunting  and  stoning  a  wren  to  death  in 
commemoration  of  St.  Stephen's  martyrdom.  Wren-boy  day 
in  the  South  of  Ireland  was  a  regular  gala-day  for  the  young 
folks  ;  it  is  still  celebrated  to  some  extent  in  many  places. 

St.  Matthias,  February  24. — A  vacancy  having  occurred 
among  the  twelve  by  the  apostasy  of  Judas,  Matthias  was 
chosen  by  lot  to  fill  it.  The  manner  of  his  death  is  not 
exactly  known,  but  it  is  generally  believed  that  he  ended 
his  days  by  crucifixion.  The  reason  for  not  naming  this 
apostle  with  the  others  in  the  "  Communicantes  "  is  that 
he  was  not  associated  to  the  apostolic  band  until  after  the 
Passion  of  our  Lord  ;  nor  is  he  named  in  any  of  the  Gospels. 
And  if  it  be  objected  to  this  that  St.  Paul  was  neither  an 
apostle  nor  even  a  Christian  until  after  the  Passion,  and 
still  he  is  mentioned  in  the  "  Communicantes  "  with  the 
other  apostles,  we  reply  that  this  was  done  in  order  not  to 
separate  him  from  St.  Peter  ;  for  the  Church  sings  of  both 
of  them  :  "In  life  they  loved  each  other  ;  in  death  they  are 
not  separated."    This  is  the  reason  given  by  all. 

The  Holy  Saints  and  Martyrs.  351 

St.  Barnabas,  June  11. — St.  Barnabas  was  a  native  of 
Cyprus.  His  first  name  was  Joses,  which  he  himself 
changed  to  Barnabas,  an  Aramean  name  meaning  "  son  of 
consolation."  He  was  the  friend  and  companion  of  St.  Paul 
in  the  holy  ministry.  The  Feast  of  St.  Barnabas  was,  ac- 
cording to  the  old  style,4  the  longest  day  in  the  year,  and 
hence  the  familiar  rhyme : 

"  Barnaby  bright,  Barnaby  gay, 
The  shortest  night  and  the  longest  day." 

St.  Ignatius,  February  1. — According  to  a  pious  tradi- 
tion, it  was  this  saint  whom  our  Lord  took  into  his  arms 
when  he  said  to  his  apostles  :  "  Whosoever  shall  receive 
one  of  such  children  in  my  name  receive th  me."  He  be- 
came Bishop  of  Antioch  in  the  early  part  of  the  second 
century,  and  suffered  a  glorious  martyrdom  under  Trajan 
in  the  year  107.  He  is  said  to  have  been  the  originator  of 
responsive  singing  in  the  Church— a  practice  which  he 
learned,  it  is  said,  from  the  angels,  whom  he  frequently 
heard  chanting  after  this  manner. 

St.  Alexander,  May  3. — This  saint  succeeded  Evaristus  as 
Pope  in  the  year  109,  and  is  named  as  a  martyr  in  the 
Sacramentary  of  St.  Gregory  the  Great. 

St.  Marcellinus,  June  2. — St.  Marcellinus  was  a  priest 
of  Rome,  who,  with  St.  Peter  the  Exorcist,  suffered  martyr- 
dom in  the  persecution  of  Diocletian,  a.d.  304. 

St.  Peter,  June  2. — This  saint,  generally  styled  "Peter 
the  Exorcist  " — for  he  was  not  in  full  orders — suffered  mar- 

«  Russia  is  the  only  Christian  country  which  yet  retains  the  old  style,  or  Julian 
Calendar.  The  principal  error  of  this  style  consists  in  making  the  year  365#  days,  or 
about  eleven  minutes  too  much.  The  new  style,  or  Gregorian  Calendar  (so  called  from 
Pope  Gregory  XIII.),  began  in  1582  In  order  to  obtain  the  true  date  according  to  this 
style,  we  must  deduct  ten  days  for  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries,  eleven  days 
for  the  eighteenth  century,  and  twelve  for  the  nineteenth.  It  is  well  to  bear  this  in 
mind,  as  a  neglect  of  it  has  often  occasioned  much  perplexity. 

352  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

tyrdoni  under  the  Emperor  Diocletian,  together  with  St. 
Marcellinus,  in  a.d.  304. 

St.  Perpetua,  March  7. — St.  Perpetua  suffered  martyr- 
dom at  Carthage,  in  Africa,  in  the  year  202,  at  the  age  of 
twenty-two.  The  instrument  of  her  torture  was  a  wild  cow 
let  loose  upon  her,  by  which  she  was  tossed  about  and 
frightfully  mangled  in  the  amphitheatre.  Her  name  and 
that  of  her  companion,  St.  Felicitas,  were  added  to  the 
Canon  of  the  Mass  by  Pope  Gregory  the  Great. 

St.  Felicitas,  March  7. — There  is  little  to  be  said  of  this 
saint  further  than  that  she  suffered  martyrdom  with  St. 
Perpetua.  She  must  not  be  confounded  with  the  St.  Fe- 
licitas who  suffered  under  the  Emperor  Antoninus  Pius. 

St.  Agatha,  February  5. — She  is  said  to  have  been  a  Sici- 
lian by  birth,  and  to  have  suffered  martyrdom  in  the  per- 
secution of  Decius,  about  the  year  251. 

St.  Lucy,  December  13. — St.  Lucy  was  a  native  of  Syra- 
cuse, in  Sicily,  and  suffered  martyrdom  about  the  year  304. 
Her  body  is  said  to  be  preserved  at  Metz,  where  it  is  ex- 
posed for  the  veneration  of  the  faithful  on  certain  occasions 
of  the  year.  In  art  she  is  generally  represented  with  a 
palm-branch  in  one  hand,  and  in  the  other  a  burning  tamp 
expressive  of  her  name,  which  comes,  it  is  said,  from  the 
Latin  luor,  light. 

St.  Agnes,  January  21. — There  are  two  saints  of  this 
name  in  the  calendar,  but  the  one  named  here  is  the  saint 
generally  meant  when  St.  Agnes  is  spoken  of.  She  is  said 
to  have  suffered  martyrdom  about  the  year  305.  Her 
church  on  the  Via  Nomenfana.  at  Rome,  gives  title  to  a  car- 
dinal, and  furnishes  the  lambs  annually  from  whose  wool 
the  palliums  of  archbishops  are  made.  In  ancient  art  she  is 
represented  in  her  miraculous  snow-white  sfarment,  with  an 
executioner  by  her  side  armod  with  a  halberd.  Her  feast 
was  once  a  holyday  of  obligation  in  England* 

"Per  quern  hcec  omnia"  353 

St  Cecilia,  November  22.— According  to  the  best  ac- 
counts, this  saint  suffered  martyrdom  in  the  year  230. 
From  the  great  love  she  manifested  for  singing  the  divine 
praises  she  is  generally  looked  up  to  as  the  patroness  of 
music,  and  is  always  represented  in  art  with  a  lyre  in  her 
hand.  So  eminent  a  saint  was  she  held  to  be  in  the  early 
Church  that  a  special  preface  was  composed  for  her  feast 
and  inserted  in  the  Sacrammtary  of  Pope  Gregory  the 
Great.  She  is  said  to  have  always  carried  a  copy  of  the 
Gospels  with  her— a  pious  custom  very  prevalent  among  the 
primitive  Christians,  and  not  entirely  extinct  yet. 

St  Anastasia,  December  25.— This  saint  is  said  to  have 
met  her  death  by  being  burnt  at  the  stake  by  order  of  the 
prefect  of  Illyria  in  the  year  304,  during  the  persecution  of 


At  each  of  the  words  "sanctify,"  "vivify,"  and  "bless," 
of  this  prayer,  a  cross  is  made  over  the  Host  and  chalice 
together.  The  chalice  is  then  uncovered,  and  the  priest, 
taking  the  sacred  Host  between  the  thumb  and  index  finger 
of  the  right  hand,  makes  three  crosses  with  it  over  the 
chalice  as  he  says  "through  him,"  "with  him,"  and  "in 
him,"  and  two  between  the  chalice  and  himself  in  a  direct 
line  at  the  expression  "  to  thee,  God  the  Father  Almighty, 
in  the  unity  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  be  all  honor  and  glory." 
As  he  says  "  all  honor  and  glory  "  he  raises  the  chalice  and 
Host  a  few  inches  from  the  altar.  This  is  called  the  minor 
elevation,  and  here  the  Canon  ends. 

According  to  Pouget  (Inst  Cathol,  torn.  ii.  p.  869),  when 
the  ancient  discipline  of  elevating  the  Host  and  chalice 
together  at  this  place  prevailed,  they  were  raised  high 
enough  to  be  seen  by  the  people.    He  is  about  the  only 


The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

author  who  ventures  to  assert  this,  but  there  is  very  good 
reason  to  think  him  right. 

It  was  long  customary  in  the  early  days  to  bless  new 
fruits  and  products  of  various  kinds  at  this  part  of  the 
Mass,  such  as  grapes,  milk  and  honey,  oil,  win©,  etc.  This 
was  done  just  before  the  "  per  quern  haec  omnia,"  and  the 
commodities  to  be  blessed  were  placed  on  the  altar  by  the 




In"  concluding  the  Canon  the  priest  raises  his  voice  and 
gays  aloud,  "Per  omnia  saecula  saeculorum " ;  then,  "Ore- 
mus  "  ;  and  after  this  follows  the  "  Pater  noster,"  or  Lord's 
Prayer,  to  which  the  following  short  preface  is  prefixed  : 
"Being  admonished  by  salutary  precepts,  and  taught  by 
divine  institution,  we  presume  to  say,  '  Our  Father/  "  etc. 
According  to  several  authorities  of  note,  the  expression, 
"being  admonished  by  salutary  precepts,"  refers  to  the 
existence  of  the  Discipline  of  the  Secret,  in  virtue  of  which 
it  was  strictly  forbidden  to  recite,  among  other  things,  the 
"Lord's  Prayer"  in  the  hearing  of  the  catechumens;  but 
inasmuch  as  none  of  this  class  could  be  present  at  this  part 
of  the  Mass,  there  was  no  danger  to  be  apprehended  from 
reciting  it  aloud.  At  the  Divine  Office,  however,  it  was 
never  said  but  in  secret,  for  catechumens  as  well  as  Chris- 
tians could  be  present  then.  This  discipline  stands  yet. 
The  rest  of  this  short  preface  refers  to  what  our  Lord  said 
to  his  disciples  on  the  quantity  and  quality  of  prayer,  for 
the  "Pater  noster"  was  formulated  by  himself  as  a  model 
for  their  guidance  (Enchiridion  Sacrif.  Missce  Bened.  XIV., 
p.  95  ;  J.  Pleyer,  S.J.,  De  Sacr.  Miss.  Sacrif.,  p.  7). 

In  the  Liturgy  of  St.  James  this  little  preface  is  thus 
worded  :  "  Grant  us,  0  Lord,  and  lover  of  men  !  with  bold- 
ness, without  condemnation   with  a  pure  heart,  with  a  bro- 

356  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

ken  spirit,  with  a  face  that  needs  not  to  be  ashamed,  with 
hallowed  lips,  to  dare  to  call  upon  thee,  our  Holy  God  and 
Father  in  heaven,  and  say,  'Our  Father,'"  etc.  All  the 
Oriental  liturgies  have  some  preface  of  this  kind  here. 

Throughout  the  Western  Church  it  is  the  priest  himself 
who  says  the  "  Pater  noster,"  but  in  the  Eastern  Church 
it  is  said  by  people  and  priest  together.  The  Mozarabics 
add  "Amen  "  after  each  of  its  different  petitions. 

In  the  time  of  Pope  Clement  III.  (1187-1191),  while  the 
Crusaders  were  engaged  in  fighting  for  the  recovery  of  the 
sacred  places  of  Palestine,  it  was  customary  to  recite  imme- 
diately after  this  prayer  the  psalm  "  Deus  venerunt  gentes" 
— "  0  God  !  the  heathens  are  come  into  thy  inheritance. " 
Pope  Innocent  III.  ordered  the  same  psalm  to  be  sung, 
together  with  a  verse  and  a  prayer,  after  the  "  Pax  "  ;  and 
by  a  decree  of  Pope  John  XXII.  (1316-1334)  the  psalm 
"  Laetatus  sum  "  was  to  be  recited  in  every  Mass  after  the 
"  Pater  noster  "  for  the  extinction  of  heresies  and  schisms 
(Romsee,  p.  255). 

We  had  almost  forgotten  to  mention  that  when  the  Pope 
celebrates  on  Easter  Sunday,  "Amen"  is  never  responded 
to  the  "  Per  omnia  saeeula  saeculorum,"  immediately  before 
the  "  Pater  noster,"  and  this  to  commemorate  a  miracle  once 
wrought  in  favor  of  Pope  Gregory  the  Great,  to  whom  the 
angels  responded  at  this  place  upon  a  certain  Easter  morn- 
ing (ibid.) 


The  moment  the  priest  has  finished  the  Lord's  Prayer  he 
wipes  the  paten  with  the  purificator,  in  order  to  prepare  it 
for  receiving  the  sacred  Host ;  and  then,  holding  it  in  his 
right  hand,  resting  erect  on  the  altar,  recites  frhe  sequence, 
or,  as  it  is  called,  the  embolismus  (that  is,  something  addet 
on)  of  the  "  Pater  uoster."    It  is  worded  as  follows  :  "  D< 

Sequence  of  the  Lord's  Prayer.  357 

liver  us,  0  Lord  1  we  beseech  thee,  from  all  evils,  present, 
past,  and  future,  and  through  the  intercession  of  the  blessed 
and  ever-glorious  Virgin  Mary,  Mother  of  God,  with  thy 
blessed  Apostles  Peter  and  Paul  and  Andrew,  and  all  tny 
saints,  grant  of  thy  goodness  peace  m  our  days,  that,  being 
assisted  by  the  help  of  thy  mercy,  we  may  be  always  iree, 
from  sin  and  secure  from  ail  disturbance/' 

Many  writers  are  of  opinion  that  the  name  of  St.  Andrew 
was  here  added  by  Pope  Gregory  the  Great,  because  he 
cherished  a  singular  devotion  to  him  and  built  several 
churches  in  his  honor.  In  early  times  it  was  left  entirely  to 
the  celebrant  of  the  Mass  what  saints'  names  to  add  to  this 
prayer  after  that  of  St.  Andrew.  He  could  name  any  one 
that  his  own  devotion  prompted ;  and  this  was  the  rule, 
with  little  interruption,  until  the  eleventh  century,  when 
that  now  in  vogue  superseded  it. 

The  embolismus  is  recited  in  secret,  because,  on  ac- 
count of  all  the  saints'  names  that  used  to  be  added  to  it 
formerly,  it  could  not  be  easily  chanted  in  High  Mass ;  and 
from  that  the  custom  found  its  way  into  Low  Mass  also. 
De  Vert,  however,  says  that  this  way  of  saying  it  was 
adopted  in  order  not  to  interfere  with  the  singing  of  the 
choir  at  this  place  (Romsee,  p.  264). 

When  the  priest  comes  to  the  words,  "  grant  of  thy  good- 
ness peace  in  our  days,"  he  makes  the  sign  of  the  cross 
upon  his  person  with  the  paten,  and  then  kisses  the  latter  at 
its  rim.  The  paten  is  here  kissed  because  it  is  about  to 
receive  our  Divine  Lord,  who  is  pre-eminently  the  author  of 
peace,  and  who  makes  the  paten  his  throne  at  this  solemn 
part  of  the  Mass.  Having  come  to  the  words,  "  being  as- 
sisted by  the  help  of  thy  mercy,"  etc.,  he  places  the  paten 
under  the  Host,  and  then,  removing  the  pall  from  the  chal- 
ice, genuflects  to  adore  our  Lord.  He  then  becomes  erect, 
and,  bringing  the  Host  over  the  chalice,   breaks  it   first 

3o8  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

into  two  equal  parts,  saying,  "  Through  the  same  Jesus 
Christ  our  Lord,  tliy  Son."  The  part  held  in  the  right  hand 
is  now  placed  on  the  paten,  and  from  tne  part  he  holds  in 
his  left,  still  over  the  elialice,  he  breaks  a  minute  particle, 
and  places  the  remainder  with  the  other  large  portion  on 
the  paten  also,  reciting  during  this  action  the  concluding 
words  of  the  prayer,  "  Who  liveth  and  reigneth  with  thee  in 
the  unity  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  God."  Still  holding  the  mi- 
nute particle  over  the  mouth  of  the  chalice,  he  says  aloud, 
"  Per  omnia  ssecula  saeculorum,"  and  then,  "  Pax  Domini  sit 
semper  vobiscum" — "The  peace  of  the  Lord  be  always  with 
you."  When  reciting  these  last  words  he  makes  three 
crosses  over  the  mouth  of  the  chalice  with  the  particle  held 
in  his  right  hand,  and  then  lets  it  fall  into  the  Precious 
Blood,  saying  at  the  same  time,  "  May  this  commixture  and 
consecration  of  the  Body  and  Blood  of  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ  be  to  us  who  receive  it  unto  life  everlasting." 


The  Host  is  broken  in  memory  of  what  our  Lord  himself 
did  at  the  Last  Supper  and  on  those  occasions  afterwards 
which  are  recorded  in  Holy  Scriptures ;  but  as  regards  the 
triple  division,  all  we  can  say  is  that  in  ancient  times  there 
was  much  diversity  of  practice  in  this  respect.  Some  broke 
it  into  three  portions  ;  some  into  four  ;  and  some,  like  those 
who  follow  the  Mozarabic  Rite,  into  nine.  According  to  the 
ancient  Roman  Rite,  it  was  first  broken  into  three  portions, 
one  of  which  was  cast  into  the  chalice;  another  was  reserved 
for  communicating  the  celebrant,  deacon,  and  subdeacon ; 
and  the  third  was  kept  for  the  sick.  This  custom  was  in 
vogue  in  the  majority  of  churches,  and  a  vestige  of  it  is  yet 
retained  in  Papal  High  Mass,  where  the  Holy  Father  drops 
one  part  of  the  Host  into  the  Precious  Blood,  communi- 
cates himself  from  another  part,  and  the  deacon  and  sub- 

Explanation  of  these  Ceremonies.  359 

deacon  from  the  third.  The  like,  too,  may  be  seen  in  the 
consecration  of  a  bishop  (Komsee,  p.  273). 

According  to  Durandus,  the  three  crosses  made  over  the 
chalice  here  with  the  small  panicle  are  intended  to  com- 
memorate the  three  days  that  the  blessed  Body  of  our  Lord 
remained  in  the  sepulchre  ;  and  the  casting  in  of  this  par- 
ticle afterwards  to  unite  with  the  Precious  Blood  forcibly 
recalls  to  mind  the  union  of  our  Lord's  Soul  and  Body  after 
his  resurrection. 

We  have  said  that  the  Mozarabics  break  the  Host  into 
nine  parts.  The  first  division  made  is  into  two  equal  por* 
tions ;  then  a  subdivision  is  made  by  which  one  portion  is 
broken  into  four  parts  and  the  other  into  five,  thus  making 
nine  in  all,  which  are  then  arranged  on  the  paten  in  the 
form  of  a  cross,  and  a  name  given  to  each  commemora- 
tive of  the  principal  events  in  our  Lord's  life  :  thus,  1st,  the 
Incarnation ;  2d,  the  Nativity ;  3d,  the  Circumcision  ;  4th, 
the  Epiphany ;  5th,  the  Passion ;  6th,  Christ's  Death ;  7th, 
his  Resurrection  ;  8th,  the  Glory  of  Christ  in  heaven  ;  9th, 
the  Kingdom  of  Christ.  From  Easter  to  Pentecost,  and 
also  on  the  Feast  of  Corpus  Christi,  while  the  priest  of  this 
rite  holds  the  part  called  the  "  Kingdom  of  Christ "  in  his 
hand  over  the  chalice,  he  says  three  times  aloud,  "  The 
Lion  of  the  tribe  of  Juda,  the  root  of  David,  has  conquered  "; 
to  which  the  choir  responds,  "  Thou  who  sittest  upon  the 
cherubim,  root  of  David,  alleluia." 

Division  of  the  Host  in  the  Oriental  Church.— The  Greeks 
divide  the  Host  into  four  parts,  one  of  which  the  priest 
casts  into  the  chalice ;  another  he  receives  himself  ;  a  third 
he  puts  aside  and  distributes  among  the  communicants  ;  and 
the  fourth  part  he  reserves  for  the  sick.  According  to  the 
Liturgy  of  St.  Chrysostom,  the  rubrics  touching  this  cere- 
mony are  worded  as  follows  : 

Rubric  :    The   deacon    then  girds    his    Orarion   [stole] 

360  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

crosswise  and  goes  into  the  holy  Bema,  and  standing  on 
the  right  hand  (the  priest  grasping  the  holy  Bread), 
saith : 

Deacon  :  "  Sir,  break  the  Holy  Bread." 

Rubric  :  And  the  priest,  dividing  it  into  four  parts 
with  care  and  reverence,  saith  : 

Priest :  "  The  Lamb  of  God  is  broken  and  distributed ; 
he  that  is  broken  and  not  divided  in  sunder ;  ever  eaten  and 
never  consumed,  but  sanctifying  those  who  receive  him." 

Before  the  particle  is  cast  into  the  chalice  by  the  Greeks 
the  sign  of  the  cross  is  first  made  with  it,  and  it  is  then  al- 
lowed to  fall  in  with  the  words,  "  the  fulness  of  the  chalice 
of  faith  of  the  Holy  Ghost, "  to  which  the  deacon  responds, 

In  the  Liturgy  of  St.  James  the  particle  is  cast  into  the 
chalice  with  the  words,  "  The  union  of  the  most  Holy  Body 
and  Precious  Blood  of  our  Lord  and  God  and  Saviour  Jesus 
Christ."  The  Copts  first  divide  the  Host  when  pronouncing 
the  word  f regit — "  he  broke  " — just  before  they  pronounce 
the  exact  words  of  institution,  and  make  subdivisions  of 
it  afterwards  a  little  before  communion.  The  Nestorians 
divide  it  into  three  parts,  using  both  hands,  and  saying 
during  the  ceremony,  "  We  now  approach  in  the  true  faith 
of  thy  name,  0  Lord  !  and  through  thy  compassion  we 
break,  and  through  thy  mercy  we  sign,  the  Body  and  Blood 
of  our  Lifegiver,  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ ;  in  the  name  of 
the  Father,  and  of  the  Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost " ;  and 
when  putting  the  particle  in  the  chalice,  "May  the  Pre- 
cious Blood  be  signed  with  the  life-giving  Body  of  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  in  the  name  of  the  Father,  and  of  the  Son, 
and  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  Amen."  From  all  this  we  see 
how  much  the  practice  of  the  Eastern  Church  resembles  our 
own  in  all  that  concerns  the  Holy  Eucharist. 

An  Ancient  Custom. — Agnus  Dei,  361 


After  the  recital  of  the  embolismus,  or  sequence  of  the 
"  Pater  noster,"  the  archdeacon  who  assisted  at  Episcopal 
Mass  was  accustomed,  in  early  days,  to  turn  round  to  the 
congregation  and  intone  "Humiliate  vos  ad  benedictionem " 
— "Bow  down  for  the  benediction";  to  which  the  rest  of 
the  clergy  would  respond,  "  Deo  gratias."  Then  the  bishop, 
before  he  said  "  Pax  Domini,"  would  turn  to  the  people 
and  impart  his  solemn  blessing. 

According  to  the  Mozarabic  Eite,  this  custom  was  also 
observed  in  Low  Mass,  and  that  by  priests  as  well  as  by 
bishops.  The  fourth  Council  of  Toledo,  however,  decreed 
that  the  custom  should  be  abolished.  The  reason  assigned 
by  Mabillon  (De  Liturgiis  Oallicanis,  lib.  i.  cap.  iv.  Nos. 
1 3  et  14)  for  this  ceremony  was  that  those  who  did  not  in- 
tend to  communicate  might  leave  the  church.  Hence  the 
meaning  of  that  invitation  to  depart  mentioned  by  Pope 
Gregory  the  Great :  "  Si  quis  non  communicat  det  locum  " — 
"  If  any  one  does  not  intend  to  communicate  let  him  make 


During  the  recital  of  the  "  Agnus  Dei  "  the  priest  strikes 
his  breast  three  times  in  humble  sorrow  for  his  sins,  saying 
the  two  first  times,  "Lamb  of  God  who  takest  away  the 
sins  of  the  world,  have  mercy  on  us  ";  and  the  third  time, 
"Lamb  of  God  who  takest  away  the  sins  of  the  world, 
grant  us  peace."  In  Masses  for  the  dead  the  form  is, 
"  Lamb  of  God  who  takest  away  the  sins  of  the  world, 
grant  them  rest " ;  this  is  repeated  twice,  and  the  third 
time  is  said,  "Lamb  of  God  who  takest  away  the  sins  of 
the  world,  grant  them  eternal  rest " ;  but  the  breast  is 
not  struck  at  all  at  these  Masses^  inasmuch  as  they  concern 

362  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

the  dead  and  not  the  living.  The  expression  "  Lamb  of 
God,"  as  applied  to  our  Lord,  is  taken  from  Holy  Scrip- 
ture, where  we  find  it  frequently  occurring.  From  the 
relations  between  our  Saviour  and  the  Paschal  lamb  of  the 
ancient  law,  a  preference  was  given  to  the  use  of  it  in  early 

Before  the  time  of  Pope  Sergius  I.  (a.d.  687  to  701),  the 
chanting  of  the  "Agnus  Dei"  was  solely  confined  to  the 
choir,  but  by  a  decree  of  this  pontiff  it  was  also  extended  to 
the  clergy.  This  is  the  explanation  that  Mabillon  gives ; 
and  it  seems  in  accordance  with  what  the  Pontifical  Book 
states  about  the  pontiff  named,  for  in  its  fourteenth  chapter 
the  following  occurs  :  "  He  ordained  that  at  the  time  of  the 
fraction  of  the  Body  of  the  Lord  'Agnus  Dei  qui  tollis 
peccata  mundi,  miserere  nobis,'  should  be  sung  by  the 
clergy  and  people"  (Romsee,  p.  281).  It  is  for  this  reason 
that  Pope  Sergius  is  generally  accredited  with  the  introduc- 
tion of  the  "  Agnus  Dei "  into  the  Mass.  But  that  it  ex- 
isted long  before  his  time  may  be  seen  from  the  Sacramen- 
tary  of  Pope  Gregory  the  Great. 

The  number  of  times,  however,  that  it  was  to  be  said 
varied  very  considerably.  Sometimes  it  was  said  but  once, 
and  this  was  all  that  Pope  Sergius  ordered  in  his  decree 
concerning  it.  At  other  times  it  used  to  be  kept  up  until 
the  entire  ceremony  of  the  fraction  of  the  sacred  Bread  had 
been  gone  through  with ;  whence  it  was  sung  once,  twice, 
three  ttimes — as  often,  in  fact,  as  was  necessary.  Its  double 
repetition  was  very  frequent  in  the  eleventh  century ;  and 
Belethus  (chap,  xlviii.)  alludes  to  its  triple  repetition  in  the 
century  following.  The  same  may  be  seen  in  the  Missals 
printed  at  that  period,  from  which  it  may  be  fairly  inferred 
that  the  present  discipline  dates.  Nor  must  we  omit  to 
mention  that  the  celebrant  did  not  say  the  "  Agnus  Dei  "  at 
all  when  first  introduced,  but  only  the  choir.     When  the 

The  Pax.  363 

duty  became  incumbent  on  the  priest  also  it  is  not  easy  to 
determine.  According  to  Eomsee,  the  pope  used  to  say  it 
in  his  Mass  about  the  fourteenth  century.  Very  likely  it 
became  obligatory  on  priests  in  general  about  this  period 
also.  Another  variation  that  respected  its  recital  was  that 
in  some  places  it  used  to  be  said  once  before  the  Preface 
and  twice  at  the  place  where  it  is  now  recited  (Eomsee, 
p.  282). 

The  words  "  grant  us  peace,"  added  to  the  last  repetition, 
instead  of  "have  mercy  on  us,"  have  not  been  always  in 
use,  nor  is  it  customary  now  to  say  them  in  the  church  of 
St.  John  Lateran  at  Rome.  According  to  very  creditable 
authorities  (see  Bona,  p.  358),  they  were  first  introduced  by 
directions  received  from  the  Mother  of  God,  who  appeared 
one  day  to  a  certain  carpenter  as  he  was  felling  trees  in  the 
forest,  and  gave  him  a  medal  with  the  image  of  our  Lord 
upon  one  side,  and  the  inscription,  "Lamb  of  God,  who 
takest  away  the  sins  of  the  world,  grant  us  peace,"  on  the 
other.  The  Blessed  Virgin  commanded  the  carpenter  to 
show  this  medal  to  the  bishop  of  the  place,  with  the  re- 
quest that  others  might  be  made  in  imitation  of  it  and  be 
reverently  worn,  in  order  that  God  might  restore  peace  to 
the  Church  of  those  days.  The  addition  soon  found  its 
way  into  the  Mass,  where  it  has  been  retained  ever  since. 


Having  recited  the  Agnus  Dei,  the  priest  bows  a  little, 
and,  resting  his  hands  upon  the  altar,  recites  three  prayers 
without  changing  his  posture.  The  first  is  a  petition  to 
Almighty  God  for  that  peace  which  the  world  cannot  give  ; 
the  second  asks  for  deliverance  from  all  iniquity  in  virtue 
of  the  Body  and  Blood  of  our  Divine  Eedeemer ;  and  the 
third,  that  the  reception  of  the  same  Body  and  Blood  may 
prove  to  be  a  remedy  for  all  the  infirmities  of  soul  and  body. 

364  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

When  the  Mass  is  a  Solemn  High  Mass  a  very  ancient 
and  interesting  ceremony  is  witnessed  here  after  the  recital 
of  the  first  of  these  prayers — viz.,  the  imparting  of  the 
"  Pax,"  or  kiss  of  peace,  which  is  kept  up  in  the  Mass  to 
commemorate  that  tender-hearted  and  loving  practice  which 
our  Divine  Lord  always  observed  in  his  intercourse  with  his 
disciples.  And  here  it  may  be  well  to  remark  that  although 
our  Blessed  Saviour  said,  "  Do  this  in  remembrance  of 
me,"  only  of  what  was  done  in  regard  to  confecting  the 
Holy  Eucharist  at  the  Last  Supper,  still  the  Church  has 
thought  fit  to  do  not  only  what  her  Divine  Founder  did 
and  commanded  to  be  observed  afterwards,  but  also  many 
other  things  which,  though  not  prescribed  expressly,  are 
yet  recorded  by  the  Evangelists  as  worthy  of  imitation. 
These  she  has  introduced  into  the  Mass  as  being  the  most 
fitting  place  to  commemorate  them ;  for  what  is  the  Mass 
itself  but  a  mystic  biography  of  our  Lord's  life  upon  earth  ? 
The  moment,  then,  that  the  celebrant  has  recited  the  first 
of  these  prayers  he  turns  to  the  deacon,  and,  having  placed 
his  hands  upon  his  shoulders,  inclines  his  head  slightly 
as  if  about  to  kiss  him,  and  says,  "Pax  tecum" — "Peace 
be  with  you" — to  which  the  deacon  responds,  "Et  cum 
spiritu  tuo" — "And  with  thy  spirit."  The  pious  saluta- 
tion is  then  taken  up  by  all  the  other  ministers  of  the  altar 
and  the  clergy  who  are  present,  but  it  is  no  longer  observed 
among  the  people  of  the  congregation.  It  is  not  witnessed 
in  Masses  for  the  dead,  on  account  of  their  lugubrious 
nature,  and  also  for  the  reason  that  in  former  times  it  was 
not  customary  to  communicate  at  such  •  Masses,  and  the 
"Pax  "was  intended  principally  as  a  ceremony  of  recon- 
ciliation between  man  and  man  previous  to  the  reception  of 
the  Holy  Eucharist  (Bona,  p.  359). 

In  ancient  times,  when  the  male  portion  of  the  congrega- 
tion was  separated  from  the  female   portion,  the  kiss  of 

The  Pax.  365 

peace  went  through  the  entire  church ;  and  this  discipline 
continued,  with  little  interruption,  up  to  the  time  of  Pop© 
Innocent  III. — that  is,  until  the  thirteenth  century — when, 
on  account  of  the  increasing  depravity  of  morals,  and  from 
other  causes,  it  was  deemed  prudent  to  discontinue  the 
practice  in  its  primitive  spirit,  and  substitute  another  form 
of  holy  salutation  in  its  stead.  A  small  instrument  made  of 
silver  or  gold,  and  having  a  representation  of  our  crucified 
Redeemer  upon  it,  was  accordingly  introduced,  and  deno- 
minated the  osculatorium,  which  all  kissed,  even  the  cele- 
brant, at  this  part  of  the  Mass.  Though  once  very  com- 
mon, this  instrument  of  peace  is  now  seldom  seen,  at  least  in 
American  churches,  the  general  practice  being  to  approach 
each  other  as  above  described,  and  salute  with  "Pax  te- 
cum." In  the  ordination  of  priests  the  "  kiss  of  peace "  is 
commanded  to  be  given  as  of  old  by  the  ordaining  bishop 
to  the  newly-ordained.  Many  religious  orders  observe  it, 
too,  in  private  life. 

In  ancient  times  it  was  customary  for  the  priest,  before 
he  gave  the  "Pax"  to  any  one  else,  to  stoop  down  first 
and  kiss  the  sacred  Host  lying  on  the  paten  before  him,  to 
signify  that  it  is  from  our  Divine  Lord  that  he  received 
that  peace  which  he  wished  to  communicate  to  others. 
This  practice  was,  however,  soon  abrogated,  as  it  was  con- 
sidered somewhat  unbecoming,  and  there  was  always  danger 
attending  it  on  account  of  the  liability  of  some  particles  of 
the  sacred  Host  adhering  to  the  lips. 

The  custom  prevailed  in  some  places,  too,  of  first  kissing 
the  chalice,  and  then  sending  the  salutation  around  in  the 
ordinary  way  among  the  clergy  of  the  sanctuary.  This  was 
long  in  vogue  with  the  Dominicans,  and  is,  to  a  certain  ex- 
tent, observed  by  them  yet ;  for  their  ceremonial  directs  that 
the  priest  first  kiss  the  rim  of  the  chalice,  and  afterwards 
the  paten,  or  the  regular  instrument  of  peace  presented  him 

366  The  Celebration  of  Mass, 

by  the  deacon,  and  say  :  "  Peace  to  thee  and  to  the  Holj 
Church  of  God."  The  practice  of  first  kissing  the  missal 
on  this  occasion,  as  containing  the  sacred  words  of  our 
Lord,  was  in  vogue  at  Cologne,  and  in  many  churches  of 
France,  in  the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  century. 

Pax  in  the  Oriental  Church. — In  the  Liturgy  of  St.  James 
the  "Pax"  follows  closely  upon  the  recital  of  the  Creed,  at 
some  distance  from  the  Preface.  The  time  of  its  observ- 
ance is  thus  announced  by  the  deacon  :  "  Let  us  kiss  one 
another  with  a  holy  kiss ;  let  us  bow  our  heads  to  the 
Lord."  When  the  Maronites  are  giving  the  "  Pax,"  which, 
like  all  the  Orientals,  they  do  before  the  Preface,  the  cele- 
brant first  kisses  the  altar  and  the  sacred  oblation  placed 
upon  it,  saying:  "Peace  to  thee,  altar  of  God,  and  peace 
to  the  mysteries  placed  upon  thee  ";  then  gives  it  to  the  at- 
tending minister  with  the  words  :  "  Peace  to  thee,  minister 
of  the  Holy  Ghost."  The  whole  congregation  then  go 
through  the  ceremony,  beginning  with  a  general  shaking  of 
hands.  The  only  Western  rite  which  gives  the  kiss  of  peace 
before  the  Preface  is  the  Mozarabic.  The  salutation  in 
many  of  the  ancient  churches  when  imparting  it  used  to  be  : 
"May  the  peace  of  Christ  and  his  Church  abound  in  you" 
(Bona,  p.  358).  Cardinal  Bona  is  of  opinion  that  it  was 
the  Franciscans  who  induced  the  Holy  See  to  discon- 
tinue giving  the  "  Pax "  according  to  the  primitive  mode, 
on  account  of  certain  abuses  that  were  gradually  creeping 
into  the  ceremony.  This  opinion  is  also  sustained  by  Pope 
Benedict  XIV.  {Enchiridion  Sacr.  Missce,  p.  106). 


At  the  end  of  the  last  of  the  three  prayers  mentioned  the 
priest  genuflects,  and,  upon  becoming  erect,  says  :  "I  will 
receive  the  Bread  of  heaven,  and  call  upon  the  name  of  the 
Lord  " — words  taken  from  the  one  hundredth  and  fifteenth 

Communion  of  the  Priest,  367 

Psalm,  with  the  exception  of  "Bread  of  heaven."  For- 
merly the  words  used  here  varied  very  much,  nor  was  it 
until  the  thirteenth  century  that  anything  like  uniformity 
was  established  concerning  them.  The  Carmelite  priests  say 
here  at  the  present  day :  "  Hail,  Salvation  of  the  world, 
Word  of  the  Father,  Sacred  Host,  Living  Flesh,  Perfect 
God,  Perfect  Man!" 

Having  recited  the  words  above  given,  the  priest  takes  the 
sacred  Host  from  the  paten,  and,  supporting  the  latter  un- 
der it  with  his  left  hand,  raises  it  a  little  from  the  altar  and 
says  :  "  Lord,  I  am  not  worthy  that  thou  shouldst  enter 
under  my  roof;  say  but  the  word  and  my  soul  shall  be 
healed."  '  This  solemn  protest,  taken  from  the  reply  of  the 
centurion  mentioned  in  the  Gospels,  he  repeats  three  times, 
striking  his  breast  at  each  repetition  ;  and  then  raising  the 
Host  to  about  the  height  of  his  eyes,  and  tracing  with  it  the 
sign  of  the  cross  in  front  of  him,  says  :  "  May  the  Body  of 
9ur  Lord  Jesus  Christ  preserve  my  soul  to  life  everlasting. 
Amen."  He  then  stoops  down,  and,  resting  his  elbows 
reverently  on  the  altar,  receives  the  sacred  Host.  After 
this  he  becomes  erect  and  pauses  awhile  in  solemn  medita- 
tion with  his  hands  joined  before  his  face. 

It  is  well  to  remark  here  that  the  teeth  must  never  be 
applied  to  the  sacred  Host  when  it  enters  the  mouth.  It 
must  be  swallowed  by  the  sole  aid  of  the  tongue ;  and  if  a 
difficulty  should  be  experienced  in  this  respect,  on  no  ac- 
count must  the  finger  be  introduced  to  overcome  it. 

Next  follows  the  communion  of  the  chalice.  To  this  end 
the  priest  removes  the  pall  from  the  mouth  of  the  chalice, 
and,  having  made  a  genuflection  as  before,  recites  the  words, 

1  In  the  Latin  foYm  as  used  here  the  expression  for  "  say  the  word  "  is  die  verbo, 
where  we  would  naturally  expect  die  verbum.  In  using  the  ahlative  instead  of  the 
accusative  form  the  Church  has  followed  the  Greek  of  St.  Luke-viz.,  tint  A6y<f>-in 
preference  to  the  eiiri  \6yov  of  St.  Matthew.  In  the  Syriac  (the  language  in  which  St 
MattUw  is  supposed  to  have  written  his  Gospel)  both  forms  are  the  same. 

368  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

"What  shall  I  render  to  the  Lord  for  all  the  good  things 
that  he  has  rendered  me  ?  "  (Psalm  cxv. )  He  then  takes 
the  paten  in  hand,  and  gathers  up  with  it,  from  the  corpo- 
ral, any  loose  particles  that  may  have  remained  upon  the 
latter  from  contact  with  the  sacred  Host,  all  of  which  he 
allows  to  drop  into  the  chalice  by  the  aid  of  the  thumb  and 
index  finger  of  his  right  hand.  After  this  he  places  his 
hand  on  the  Chalice,  saying,  "  I  will  receive  the  Chalice  of 
Salvation,  and  call  upon  the  name  of  the  Lord  ;  praising  I 
will  invoke  the  Lord,  and  will  be  safe  from  my  enemies  " 
(Psalm  cxv.)  Then  placing  the  paten  under  his  chin  with 
his  left  hand,  and  taking  the  chalice  in  his  right,  he  makes 
the  sign  of  the  cross  and  communicates  with  the  words, 
"  May  the  Blood  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  preserve  my  soul 
to  life  everlasting.     Amen." 




Ik  order  to  give  such  members  of  the  congregation  as  may 
be  desirous  of  communicating  timely  notice  of  this  sacred 
work,  it  is  customary  for  the  server  of  the  Mass  to  ring  the 
little  hand-bell  each  time  that  the  priest  says,  "  Domine  non 
sum  dignus,"  just  before  he  communicates.  The  people 
then  advance  to  the  sanctuary  rails,  where  they  take  a  kneel- 
ing posture,  and,  having  placed  the  communion  cloth  im- 
mediately under  their  chins,  await  the  approach  of  the  priest. 
The  server,  in  the  meantime,  recites  in  their  behalf  the 
same  form  of  Confession  that  was  said  at  the  beginning  of 
Mass,  while  the  priest  is  getting  ready  the  Sacred  Particles 
for  distribution.  To  this  end  he  opens  the  tabernacle,  and, 
having  made  a  genuflection,  takes  therefrom  the  cibonum 
in  which  these  Particles  are  kept,  and  places  it  on  the 
corporal  in  front  of  him.  He  uncovers  it  immediately, 
and,  having  made  another  genuflection,  turns  a  little  to- 
wards the  communicants  and  pronounces  over  them  the 
two  following  prayers :  1st,  "  May  the  almighty  God  have 
mercy  on  you,  forgive  you  your  sins,  and  bring  you  to 
life  everlasting."  2d,  "  May  the  almighty  and  merciful 
God  grant  you  pardon,  absolution,  and  remission  of  your 
sins."  When  pronouncing  this  form  of  absolution  he  makes 
the  sign  of  the  cross  over  all  at  the  rails,  and,  having  made 
ft  third  genuflection,  takes  the  ciborium  in  his  left  hand, 


370  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

and,  holding  a  Particle  over  it  with  his  right,  says  in  ai 
audible  tone,  "  Behold  the  Lamb  of  God ;  behold  who  tak- 
eth  away  the  sins  of  the  world.  Lord,  I  am  not  worthy  that 
thou  shouldst  enter  under  my  roof ;  say  but  the  word  and 
sny  soul  shall  be  healed."  This  latter  protestation  he  pro- 
nounces three  times,  and  then  descends  to  the  rails,  where 
he  distributes  the  Sacred  Particles  to  the  communicants, 
always  beginning  at  the  Epistle  side.  At  this  part  of  di- 
vine service  all  are  on  a  level — rich  and  poor,  learned  and 
illiterate,  king  and  peasant.  All  kneel  together  at  the 
same  rail,  and,  side  by  side,  receive  their  Lord  at  the  same 
time  without  any  distinction  of  ceremony  by  reason  of  rank 
or  title ;  and  so  careful  is  the  Church  of  the  reputation  of 
her  children  that  she  forbids  the  priest  to  pass  any  one  by 
at  the  rails,  no  matter  how  unworthy  that  person  be,  pro- 
vided his  criminality  is  secret ;  thus  imitating  that  singular 
charity  of  her  Divine  Founder,  who  allowed  Judas  to  com- 
municate at  the  Last  Supper,  although  he  knew  that  he 
would  soon  betray  him.  In  administering  the  Blessed  Par- 
ticle to  each  person  the  priest  says,  "  May  the  Body  of  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ  preserve  your  soul  unto  life  everlasting. 
Amen."  Unless  in  danger  of  death,  Holy  Communion 
must  be  always  received  fasting. 

Having  communicated  all,  the  priest  returns  to  the  altar 
and  encloses  the  ciborium  in  the  tabernacle  with  the  cus- 
tomary genuflections.  He  then  holds  out  the  chalice  to  the 
server,  and  receives  about  as  much  wine  in  it  for  the  ablu- 
tion as  was  first  put  into  it  for  consecration.  While  doing 
this  he  says:  "What  we  have  taken  with  our  mouth,  0 
Lord  !  may  we  receive  with  pure  mind  ;  and  from  being  a 
temporal  gift  may  it  become  for  us  an  eternal  remedy." 
The  Holy  Eucharist  is  here  called  "  a  temporal  gift,"  inas- 
much as  received  here  below  by  wayfaring  men.  It  is  de- 
nominated "  an  eternal  remedy "  in  accordance  with  what 

Holy  Communion  in  Ancient  Times.  371 

our  Lord  himself  says  of  it  :  "If  any  man  eat  this  Bread 
he  shall  live  for  ever."  The  wine  is  taken  into  the  chalice 
in  order  to  purify  it  from  all  traces  of  the  Precious  Blood, 
and  is  drunk  by  the  priest  instead  of  being  thrown  into  the 
sacrarium,  as  was  the  custom  in  early  times  (Bona,  p.  371). 
Having  drunk  this  first  ablution,  the  priest  takes  the  chal- 
ice with  both  hands,  and  proceeds  to  the  Epistle  corner  of 
the  altar  to  receive  the  second  ablution  from  the  server, 
consisting  of  wine  and  water,  which  he  allows  to  fall  into 
the  chalice  through  the  tips  of  the  thumb  and  index  finger 
of  each  hand  held  over  the  chalice's  mouth,  and  this  to 
purify  them  from  any  particles  of  the  sacred  Host  that  may 
have  adhered  to  them.  He  drinks  this  second  ablution  also ; 
and  having  then  purified  the  chalice  with  the  purificator — 
instead  of  which  the  Greeks  use  a  sponge — arranges  it  in  the 
centre  of  the  altar,  putting  all  that  belongs  to  it  in  the 
proper  places. 


In  the  early  days  of  the  Christian  Church's  existence  the 
people  were  accustomed  to  communicate  every  time  they  as- 
sisted at  Mass ;  and  many  would  do  this  frequently  on  the 
same  day,  if  they  assisted  at  more  Masses  than  one  and  were 
still  fasting.  St.  Jerome  says  in  his  Epist.  1.  to  Pam- 
machius  that  this  praiseworthy  custom  prevailed  through- 
out Spain  and  at  Rome  in  the  fourth  century.  By  degrees, 
however,  the  practice  went  so  much  into  desuetude  that 
St.  John  Chrysostom,  who  died  in  the  early  part  of  the 
fifth  century,  bitterly  complained  of  it  to  his  people.  "  In 
vain,"  said  he  when  Bishop  of  Constantinople,  "is  there 
a  daily  oblation  when  there  is  no  one  present  to  com- 
municate." Notwithstanding  all  attempts  to  check  it,  cold- 
ness in  this  respect  went  on  increasing  from  day  to  day 
and  from  year  to  year,  until  the  Church  found  it  neces* 

372  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

sary  to  enact  laws  requiring  all  to  approach  Holy  Com- 
munion at  least  on  Sundays  and  festivals.  We  see  a  statute 
in  the  Capitulary  of  Charlemagne  (1.  v.,  No.  182)  strictly 
enjoining  this  practice.  In  course  of  time  still  greater 
latitude  was  given,  for  it  was  only  required  that  a  person 
should  communicate  at  three  special  periods  of  the  year 
— viz.,  on  Christmas  day,  Easter  Sunday,  and  Pentecost. 
The  decree  specifying  these  three  occasions  was  promulgated 
by  the  Council  of  Tours  in  the  ninth  century,  during  the 
pontificate  of  Pope  Leo  III.  The  Council  of  Agatho,  held 
some  time  before,  ordained  that  those  who  did  not  approach 
the  Blessed  Eucharist  on  these  occasions  should  not  be 
looked  on  as  Catholics  at  all  (Romsee,  p.  309).  This  prac- 
tice continued  until  about  the  thirteenth  century,  when  the 
fourth  Council  of  Lateran,  a.d.  1215,  held  under  the  aus- 
pices of  Pope  Innocent  III.,  solemnly  declared  and  decreed, 
under  pain  of  excommunication,  that  all  the  faithful  who 
had  reached  the  years  of  discretion  should  confess  their  sins 
at  least  once  a  year  and  approach  Holy  Communion  within 
the  Paschal  time.1  This  solemn  injunction  was  confirmed 
and  renewed  by  the  Council  of  Trent,J  which  said  in  its 
twenty-second  session  that  it  desired  that  the  faithful  should 
communicate  not  only  once  a  year,  but  every  time  they  as- 
sisted at  Mass,  if  their  consciences  were  pure  and  guiltless 
before  God.  Practical  Catholics  now,  as  a  general  rule, 
approach  Holy  Communion  the  first  Sunday  of  every  month 
and  on  every  intermediate  festival  of  note.  Many  have 
the    pious    practice  of    going    once    a    week  ;    and  it    is 

1  The  Paschal  time  commences,  strictly  speaking,  on  Palm  Snnday  and  ends  on  Low 
Sunday.  The  time  in  Ireland,  hy  an  apostolic  indult,  is  from  Ash  Wednesday  nntil  the 
Feast  of  SS.  Peter  and  Paul  (June  29) ;  in  England,  hy  a  similar  indult,  from  Ash 
Wednesday  till  Low  Sunday ;  and  in  America  from  the  first  Sunday  in  Lent  to  Trinity 

a  The  Council  of  Trent  opened  on  December  13, 1545,  and  lasted,  but  with  con- 
liderable  interruption,  until  the  year  1568. 

Communion  under  both  Kinds.  373 

not  unfrequent,  thank  God  !  to  meet  tri- weekly  communi- 


Up  to  the  twelfth  century  Holy  Communion  was  admin- 
istered to  the  faithful  under  both  kinds,  as  we  see  from 
numerous  testimonies  (Kozma,  p.  236 ;  Komsee,  p.  311). 
After  this  time  it  began  to  be  restricted  to  the  celebrant, 
but  the  restriction  did  not  become  a  universal  law  of  the 
Church  until  the  Council  of  Constance,  in  a.d.  1414,  de- 
clared it  such.  We  shall  see  what  prompted  this  declara- 

It  is  worth  observing  that  whenever  any  of  the  Church's 
adversaries  taught  as  a  matter  of  dogma  what  she  herself 
only  considered  a  matter  of  discipline,  to  confound  their  im- 
piety she  either  dropped  the  practice  altogether  or  strenu- 
ously exerted  herself  in  an  entirely  opposite  direction. 
The  Ebionites,  for  example,  held  that  the  Holy  Eucharist 
could  be  confected  with  no  other  kind  of  bread  but  un- 
leavened, or  azymes  ;  to  confound  these  the  Church  allowed 
for  some  time  the  use  of  leavened  bread  also.  The  Arme- 
nians maintained  that  it  was  wholly  unlawful  to  mix  even 
the  smallest  drop  of  water  with  the  wine  used  for  consecra- 
tion ;  the  Church  said  that  it  was  not  so,  and  that,  rather 
than  grant  dispensation  in  this  respect  to  this  people,  she 
would  suffer  the  entire  body  of  them  to  separate  from  her 
communion ;  still,  she  looked  upon  the  observance  as  en- 
tirely disciplinary.  The  arch-heretic  Luther  said  that  those 
Masses  at  which  only  the  priest  himself  communicated  were 
idolatrous  and  should  be  abolished  at  once.  The  Church, 
on  the  other  hand,  approved  of  them,  and  granted  full 
faculties  to  the  priests  of  those  days  to  celebrate  them  at 
pleasure.  This  brings  us  to  the  question  under  considera- 
tion.    John  Huss  held  such  fanatical  views  about  the  neces- 

574  Tlie  Celebration  of  Mass. 

sity  of  Communion  under  both  kinds  that  the  whole*land 
was  disturbed  by  his  teaching.  According  to  him,  the 
Church  could  not  dispense  with  the  obligation  of  receiving 
both  species,  for  Communion  under  one  kind  was  no  Com- 
munion at  all,  and  that  all  who  received  in  that  way 
were  damned.  Huss  was  supported  in  these  views  by  his 
disciples,  Jerome  of  Prague,  Jacobellus  of  Misnia,  and 
Peter  of  Dresden.  To  confound  these  heretics,  and  for 
other  very  wise  reasons,  the  Council  of  Constance,  assembled 
in  a.d.  1414,  declared  that  Communion  under  one  species 
was  as  true  a  participation  of  the  Body  and  Blood  of  the 
Lord,  in  virtue  of  what  theologians  called  concomitance,  as 
if  both  species  were  received  ;  and  that  all  who  held  dif- 
ferently were  to  be  anathematized  as  heretics.  A  decree  was 
then  issued  by  said  council  abrogating  Communion  under 
the  species  of  wine  ;  and  from  this  dates  our  present  disci- 
pline in  this  respect  (Kozma,  p.  236).  But  the  practice  oi 
receiving  under  both  kinds,  even  after  this  decree,  was  en- 
joyed, as  a  particular  favor  of  the  Holy  See,  by  certain  per- 
sons and  in  a  few  particular  places.  It  was  granted,  for 
instance,  1st,  to  the  kings  of  France  on  the  day  of  their 
coronation,  and  also  at  the  point  of  death ;  2d,  it  was  al- 
lowed to  the  deacon  and  subdeacon  of  Papal  High  Mass  ; 
3d,  the  deacon  and  subdeacon  of  the  Monastery  of  St.  Diony- 
sius,  near  Paris,  communicated  under  both  kinds  on  Sun- 
days and  festivals,  as  did  also  the  monks  of  Cluny  (Rom- 
see,  p.  306). 

Four  principal  reasons,  not  including  the  heresy  of  John 
Huss  and  his  followers,  induced  the  Church  to  abandon 
Communion  under  the  species  of  wine :  1st,  the  great 
danger  the  Precious  Blood  was  exposed  to  in  communicat- 
ing so  many ;  2d,  the  scarcity  of  wine  in  certain  regions, 
and  the  difficulty  in  procuring  genuine  wine  in  northern 
climates  ;  3d,  the  nausea  that  this  species  creates  in  some 

Communion  under  the  Species  of  Bread.  3?5 

people;  4th,  the  great  difficulty  of  reserving  the  Holy 
Eucharist  under  this  kind  in  warm  climates,  where  the 
tendency  to  acidify  is  very  great. 


Some  of  the  ablest  commentators  see  in  the  "  breaking  of 
bread  from  house  to  house,"  and  in  other  similar  expres- 
sions of  the  New  Testament,  Communion  under  one  species 
only ;  and  it  is  admitted  by  all  that  in  this  way  did  the  two 
disciples  communicate  whom  our  Lord  met  on  the  way  to 
Emmaus  on  Easter  Sunday  after  his  Resurrection,  for,  as 
the  narrative  has  it,  "  they  knew  him  in  the  breaking  of 
bread."  Communion  under  one  kind  has  been  common 
ever  since  the  days  of  the  apostles,  especially  in  case  of 
sick  persons  and  of  those  who  lived  a  great  distance  from 
the  church  ;  and  we  shall  see  a  little  further  on  that  the 
Orientals  have  practised  such  Communion  from  time  im- 

Order  of  Receiving  in  Ancient  Times. — After  the  celebrant 
had  communicated,  the  sacred  ministers  attending  him 
communicated  next  in  order — first  the  deacon,  then  the 
subdeacon,  and  after  him  the  rest  of  the  clergy.  The  Com- 
munion of  the  people,  which  took  place  at  the  rails,  was 
arranged  in  the  following  order :  deaconesses,  virgins  con- 
secrated to  God,  children,  then  the  grown  people  of  the 
congregation — the  men  first,  and  then  the  women  (Kozma, 
p.  240).  This  order  is  fully  set  forth  in  the  Apostolic  Con- 

Manner  of  Receiving. — With  very  little  exception,  it  was 
customary  during  the  first  five  or  six  centuries  to  place  the 
sacred  Host  in  the  hands  of  the  communicant  and  let 
him  communicate  himself.      The  male  portion  received  the 

376  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

Blessed  Particle  in  their  naked  hands,  one  placed  over  the 
other  in  the  form  of  a  cross,  and  the  palm  of  the  right  bent 
a  little  so  as  to  have  it  hollow-shaped,  in  order  that  there 
might  be  n©  danger  of  letting  the  Particle  fall  off.  The 
females  never  received  the  Host  in  the  naked  hands,  but 
were  always  required  to  bring  with  them,  when  they  in- 
tended to  communicate,  a  clean  linen  cloth  called  a  domini- 
cal, with  which  they  covered  their  hands  when  about  to 
receive  the  consecrated  Particle.  The  rule  in  this  respect 
was  so  rigid  that,  should  a  female  present  herself  for  Com- 
munion and  be  without  this  hand-cloth,  she  would  be 
obliged  to  leave  the  rails  and  defer  receiving  until  another 
occasion.  The  custom  of  thus  receiving  the  sacred  Host  in 
the  hands  was  instituted  to  commemorate  what  was  done  at 
the  Last  Supper,  when  the  apostles  received  in  this  way. 
But  as  the  custom  was  open  to  many  dangers  and  abuses  in 
places  where  large  numbers  approached  the  Holy  Table,  it 
was  abrogated  about  the  beginning  of  the  ninth  century 
(Kozma,  p.  241). 

Form  used  in  giving  the  Holy  Eucharist.— In  early  times 
the  words  used  by  the  priest  in  giving  Holy  Communion 
were,  for  the  species  of  bread,  "Corpus  Christi" — "the 
Body  of  Christ" — to  which  the  receiver  answered,  "Amen"; 
and  for  the  species  of  wine,  "Sanguis  Christi  poculum 
Salutis  "— "  the  Blood  of  Christ,  the  cup  of  Salvation  "—to 
which  "Amen"  was  also  answered.  About  the  time  of 
Pope  Gregory  the  Great  (sixth  century)  the  form  had 
changed  into  "  Corpus  Domini  nostri  Jesu  Christi  conser- 
vet  animam  tuam" — "May  the  Body  of  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ  preserve  your  soul" — to  which  the  receiver  would 
respond,  as  before,  "Amen."  With  Alcuin,  preceptor  of 
Charlemagne,  we  find  the  form,  "  May  the  Body  of  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ  preserve  you  unto  life  everlasting." 

Tlie  Holy  Eucharist  carried  on  Journeys.         377 



During  the  days  of  persecution  permission  was  granted 
the  faithful  to  bring  the  Biessed  Sacrament  to  their  houses 
and  communicate  themselves  in  case  of  imminent  death. 
St.  Basil  speaks  of  this  custom  as  prevailing  throughout  all 
Egypt.  Tertullian  and  St.  Cyprian  frequently  allude  to  it 
also.  The  Holy  Eucharist  on  these  occasions  used  to  be 
carefully  put  away  in  little  boxes  specially  made  for  the  pur- 
pose, on  the  lids  of  which  some  such  pious  devices  as  IHS 
(Jesus)  or  XP  (Christ)  used  to  be  engraved.  These  boxes 
were  generally  made  of  gold  or  silver  when  owned  by  the 
wealthy  classes,  and  had  a  ring  attached  to  their  lids, 
through  which  was  passed  a  string,  in  order  to  fasten  them 
to  the  neck  (see  Hierurgia,  p.  194,  note). 


According  to  the  present  discipline  of  the  Church,  per- 
mission is  enjoyed  by  no  person,  no  matter  how  exalted  his 
dignity,  unless  it  be  the  Holy  Father  himself,  to  carry  the 
Blessed  Sacrament  on  his  person  when  travelling,  except  for 
the  purpose  of  communicating  the  sick.  In  ancient  times, 
however,  this  permission  was  often  granted,  but  generally  in 
case  of  vsry  long  and  dangerous  journeys ;  and  we  see  that 
many  of  the  Urientals  make  it  a  practice  yet  to  bring  it  with 
them  whenever  they  intend  to  set  out  on  any  hazardous 
voyage.  This  is  especially  the  case  with  the  Maronites 
(Denzinger,  Eitus  Orient.,  p.  99).  When  the  Pope  conveys 
the  Blessed  Sacrament  publicly  on  any  long  journey  from 
Rome,  a  sort  of  procession  is  generally  organized  of  the 
Noble  and  Swiss  Guards,  and  of  the  other  functionaries  and 
officials  who  usually  attend  him  ;  but  there  is  no  demonstra- 
tion whatever  made  when  the  Holy  Father  is  travelling 

378  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

privately.  He  then  carries  the  Blessed  Sacrament  around 
his  neck,  as  Pope  Pius  IX.,  of  blessed  memory,  did  in  his 
flight  from  Rome  to  Gaeta  in  1848. 

The  Armenians  (that  is,  the  schismatic  Armenians)  are 
much  to  blame  for  allowing  the  Blessed  Sacrament  to  be 
carried  on  caravan  expeditions  through  the  country,  and 
that,  too— to  their  shame  be  it  said— by  lay  persons,  by  the 
merchants  who  organize  these  caravans  for  the  purpose  of 
selling  their  wares. 


For  a  long  time  it  was  customary  to  communicate  chil- 
dren, under  the  species  of  wine,  immediately  after  their 
baptism.  This  used  to  be  done  by  the  priest  dipping  his 
finger  in  the  Precious  Blood  and  then  putting  it  into  the 
child's  mouth  to  suck.  The  custom  is  still  kept  up  in  the 
East,  where  Baptism,  Holy  Eucharist,  and  Confirmation  are 
administered  on  the  same  occasion.  Romsee  says  (iv.  p. 
309)  that  this  custom  prevailed,  at  least  in  some  churches 
of  the  West,  up  to  the  eleventh  century.  According  to  the 
practice  of  the  modern  Greek  Church,  infants  are  now  gene- 
rally given  the  Precious  Blood  in  a  spoon. 


So  great  was  the  faith  of  the  primitive  Christians  in  the 
virtue  of  the  Holy  Eucharist  that,  not  content  with  giving 
it  to  the  living,  they  also  placed  it  in  the  grave  with  the 
dead,  in  order  that  it  might  be  a  safeguard  against  the 
wiles  of  the  devil,  and  as  a  companion  for  that  body  which 
had  been  through  life,  in  virtue  of  the  participation  of  the 
sacraments  of  the  Church,  the  temple  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  as 
blessed  Paul  the  Apostle  says.  But  there  were  other  reasons 
for  this  strange  practice.  Many  believed,  in  simplicity  of 
mind,  that  the  Blessed  Sacrament  in  this  case  would  answei 

Holy  Communion  when  given  by  the  Bishop.       379 

as  a  substitute  for  the  last  rites  of  the  Church,  should  it 
happen  that  the  person  had  died  suddenly  or  otherwise  un- 

It  is  generally  said  that  a  stop  was  put  to  this  practice  by 
a  miracle  which  was  witnessed  at  the  grave  of  a  person  re- 
cently buried.  The  Blessed  Sacrament,  as  the  story  goes, 
was  interred  with  the  corpse,  but  the  moment  the  grave  was 
covered  the  earth  burst  open,  and  after  some  time  the  coffin 
was  exposed  to  view.  As  no  miracle  was  apprehended  at 
first,  the  earth  was  gathered  up  and  the  grave  made  over 
anew ;  but  the  same  thing  happened  again — the  earth 
was  scattered,  as  before,  in  all  directions.  This  led  to  an 
examination  as  to  the  probable  cause,  and  as  it  was  found 
that  the  Blessed  Sacrament  sprang  forth  from  the  body  of 
the  deceased  person,  it  was  concluded  that  it  was  a  portent 
of  the  displeasure  of  God.  The  custom,  it  is  said,  ceased 
from  that  time.  (The  reader  must  take  our  own  statement 
of  this  story  instead  of  better  authority,  as  we  find  it  im- 
possible to  recall  the  name  of  the  work  in  which  we  read 
it.)  Be  this  story  true  or  false,  the  practice,  as  bordering 
on  irreverence,  was  very  early  condemned,  first  by  the  third 
Council  of  Carthage,  in  a.d.  393,  and  afterwards  by  those  of 
Auxerre,  in  France,  and  Trullo,  at  Constantinople. 

In  examining  ancient  customs  we  must  be  careful  not  to 
form  hasty  conclusions,  and  condemn  our  fathers  in  the 
faith  for  what  may  seem  irreverent  to  us,  but  was  never  so 
intended  by  them. 


Whenever  the  bishop  administered  Holy  Communion  he 
gave  the  kiss  of  peace  first  to  the  ministers  assisting  him,  and 
then  to  those  whom  he  communicated,  who  also  in  turn 
saluted  him.  There  is  a  vestige  of  this  ancient  practice  yet 
in  vogue ;  for,  according  to  our  modern  discipline,  whoever 

380  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

receives  Holy  Communion  from  a  bishop  is  required  to  kiss 
his  ring  Urst.  The  true  origin  of  this  ceremony  is  founded 
on  the  fact  that  in  ancient  times  all  the  faithful  were  re- 
garded as  forming  one  common  family  with  the  bishop  as 
their  head,  and  as  a  pledge  of  this  spiritual  union  the  kiss 
of  peace  used  to  be  imparted  upon  receiving  the  great  Head 
and  Father  of  all  (Mabillon,  Comment  in  Ord.  Rom.; 
Valesius,  Not.  ad  Eusebii  Hist.,  1.  vi.  c.  xliii.  ;  Kozma, 
Liturg.  tiacr.  Cathol,  p.  243,  note;  Bona,  p.  359).  The 
modern  practice  of  kneeling  down  to  kiss  the  bishop's  ring 
is  derived  from  this  ancient  custom. 


Nothing  can  exceed  the  singular  care  that  the  Church 
always  manifests  in  everything  that  concerns  the  Blessed 
Eucharist.  We  have  spoken  already  of  the  minute  direc- 
tions she  has  given  about  the  vessels  in  which  it  is  kept — 
the  chalice,  the  cibormm,  the  pyx,  and  the  tabernacle ;  how 
clean  and  precious  they  must  be,  how  they  are  to  be 
touched,  and  who  has  the  right  to  touch  them  ;  and  then, 
again,  the  sacred  linens,  and  the  extraordinary  care  that  must 
be  taken  of  them  in  Mass  and  out  of  it.  Every  imagin- 
able accident,  too,  that  could  happen  to  the  Blessed  Sacra- 
ment is  provided  for  ;  and  directions  on  this  head  of  the 
most  minute  kind  are  printed  in  all  the  missals,  in  order 
that  every  priest  may  know  what  to  do  in  each  case. 
Should  a  Particle  fall  to  the  ground,  for  instance,  it  is  order- 
ed that  the  spot  where  it  fell  should  be  carefully  marked  by 
a  strip  of  linen,  and  afterwards  scraped  and  washed  and  the 
ablution  thrown  into  the  sacrarium.  It  was  the  considera- 
tion of  all  this  care  bestowed  on  the  Blessed  Sacrament  by 
the  Church,  coupled  with  the  magnificent  and  solemn  gran- 
deur of  the  ceremonies  of  Holy  Mass,  that  drew  from  Fre- 
derick the   Great    that   noble    and    magnanimous  saying: 

Holy  Communion  in  the  Eastern  Church.         381 

"The  Calvinists  treat  Almighty  God  as  a  servant ;  the  Lu- 
therans as  an  equal ;  the  Catholics  as  a  God "  (Kozma, 
Liturg.  Sacr.  Cathol.,  Praefatio). 

In  Spain,  whenever  the  Blessed  Sacrament  is  borne 
through  the  streets  on  a  sick-call,  red  curtains  hang  in  all 
the  principal  windows,  and  the  people  fall  on  their  knees  at 
their  doors  until  "  His  Majesty  "  (the  common  appellation  in 
that  country  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament)  has  passed  by  (Im- 
pressions of  Spain,  by  Lady  Herbert).  At  Seville  the  choir 
dance  before  the  Host  on  the  Feast  of  Corpus  Christi,  in 
imitation  of  David's  dancing  before  the  Ark  of  the  Cove- 
nant ;  and  so  exceedingly  devout  is  this  dance  in  all  respects 
that  persons  who  have  witnessed  it  describe  it  as  singu- 
larly touching.  Lady  Herbert  tells  us,  on  page  137,  that  no 
one  could  speak  of  the  holy  dance  of  Corpus  Christi  at 
Seville  without  emotion.  Spain  is  pre-eminently  the  land 
of  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  It  is  by  no  means  unusual  to 
see  in  the  streets  of  some  of  its  principal  cities  little  chil- 
dren cluster  together  in  groups,  and  cry  out  one  to  another, 
as  the  Most  Holy  is  borne  to  the  sick,  "  Sale  su  Mages  tad  " 
— "His  Majesty  is  going  out !" 


According  to  the  Liturgy  of  St.  Chrysostom,  the  cele- 
brant of  the  Mass  communicates  first,  under  the  follow- 
ing form  of  words  :  "  The  blessed  and  most  holy  Body  of 
our  Lord  and  God  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ  is  communi- 
cated to  me,  N.,  priest,  for  the  remission  of  my  sins  and 
life  everlasting."  When  receiving  the  chalice  he  says : 
"I,  N.,  priest,  partake  of  the  pure  and  holy  Blood  of  out 
Lord  and  God  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ,  for  the  remission 
of  my  sins  and  life  everlasting."  When  communicating  the 
deacon  the  priest  says  :  "N.,  the  holy  deacon,  is  made  par- 
taker of  the  precious,  holy,  and  spotless  Body  of  our  Lord 

382  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

and  God  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ,  for  the  remission  of  his 
eins  and  life  everlasting."  In  giving  the  Precious  Blood  to 
the  deacon  the  form  is  the  same  as  when  the  priest  receives. 
According  to  the  Coptic  Rite,  the  priest  first  kisses  the 
sacred  Host  before  he  receives  it,  and  then  communicates 
the  rest  (Eenaudot,  p.  261).  The  form,  according  to  the 
Nestorian  Rite,  for  communicating  a  priest  is,  "  The  Body 
of  our  Lord  to  the  chaste  priest  for  the  forgiveness  of  sins." 
The  form  of  giving  the  chalice  is  the  same. 

Communion  of  the  People  in  the  Eastern  Church. — As  we 
have  said  already,  it  is  customary  all  through  the  East, 
with  Catholics  and  schismatics  alike,  to  administer  Holy 
Communion  under  both  species.  There  are  three  par- 
ticular ways  of  performing  this  ceremony  :  According  to 
the  first,  the  sacred  Host  is  given  by  itself,  then  the  com- 
municant drinks  from  the  chalice  ;  according  to  the  second, 
the  sacred  Host  is  given  by  the  priest  to  each  communi- 
cant, and  the  chalice  is  administered  by  the  deacon  through 
the  aid  of  a  small  spoon,  which  he  dips  into  it  and  after- 
wards puts  into  the  mouth  of  the  receiver  ;  and  accord- 
ing to  the  third  way,  which  is  the  most  common,  the  Holy 
Bread  is  broken  into  many  minute  particles,  and,  having 
been  steeped  in  the  wine,  is  afterwards  given  to  the 
communicant  in  a  spoon.  In  this  last  case  there  is  no 
separate  receiving  of  the  Precious  Blood.  The  first  way 
here  spoken  of  is  peculiar  to  the  ministers  of  the  altar ;  also 
to  the  patriarch,  if  he  should  be  present.  The  minor  clergy 
receive  in  the  second  way,  and  the  laity  in  the  third.  In 
some  of  the  Syro-Jacobite  churches  the  priest  goes  down 
to  the  laity  with  the  paten  and  the  deacon  with  the  chalice, 
upon  which  occasion  the  priest  dips  the  Particles  in  the 
Precious  Blood  and  distributes  them  to  the  people.  In 
many  places  in  the  East  a  lighted  taper  is  borne  by  some 
of  the  assistant  ministers  at  this  time. 

Holy  Communion  in  the  Eastern  Church.         383 

With  the  Nestorians  the  method  of  communicating  the 
laity  is  rather  peculiar.  The  priest  first  comes  out  with  the 
Holy  Bread  in  a  napkin  fastened  around  his  neck,  and  the 
deacon  carries  the  Precious  Blood  in  a  large  bowl  with  a 
cloth  under  it,  intended  as  a  purificator.  Each  communi- 
cant in  succession  stands  up  before  the  priest  and  holds  his 
hand  under  his  chin  to  receive  any  loose  particles  that  may 
fall  from  the  sacred  Host.  After  he  has  partaken  of  the 
latter  he  goes  to  the  deacon  and  sips  a  little  from  the  bowl, 
then  wipes  his  mouth  on  the  napkin  carried  for  this  pur- 
pose. He  then  returns  to  his  place,  keeping  his  hand  up 
to  his  mouth  for  some  time  (Smith  and  Dwight,  Re- 
searches in  Armenia,  ii.  p.  262).  The  formula  of  distri- 
bution among  the  laity,  according  to  the  Liturgy  of  St. 
Chrysostom,  is  :  "N.,  the  servant  of  God,  is  made  partaker 
of  the  pure  and  holy  Body  and  Blood  of  our  Lord  and 
God  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ,  for  the  remission  of  his  sins 
and  life  everlasting."  The  rubric  on  this  head  directs  the 
receiver  to  draw  near  with  reverence  and  hold  his  arms 
crossed  upon  his  breast.  It  is  not  customary  in  any  part  of 
the  East  to  kneel  while  receiving ;  all  stand  up,  but  bow 
the  head  a  little  as  the  Blessed  Sacrament  approaches. 

The  directions  given  in  the  Coptic  rituals  about  the 
administration  of  Holy  Communion  to  the  laity  are  ex- 
ceedingly praiseworthy.  Nothing  can  exceed  the  singular 
reverence  that  the  Copts  show  our  Lord  upon  these  oc- 
casions. According  to  their  rubrics,  the  priest  and  dea- 
con descend  from  the  altar,  the  one  with  the  Holy  Bread, 
the  other  with  the  chalice,  and  advance  to  where  the  com- 
municants are,  all  of  whom  the  priest  blesses  with  the  paten 
when  he  arrives  there.  An  assistant  deacon  bears  a  lighted 
candle  before  the  sacred  Host.  The  moment  each  person 
is  communicated  he  retires  to  his  place,  moving  so  as  not  to 
turn  his  back  on  the  Blessed  Sacrament,  as  Judas  is  said  to 

384  Th*  Celebration  of  Mass. 

have  done,  according  to  the  tradition  of  the  Copts.  When 
the  Communion  of  the  male  portion  of  the  congregation  has 
been  administered  in  this  way,  that  of  the  females  begins. 
Exceeding  great  care  is  required  to  be  taken  in  the  latter 
case,  for,  as  all  the  females  of  the  East  are  veiled  in  church 
and  out  of  it,  it  is  often  impossible  to  discern  who  the  per- 
son is  that  you  have  to  deal  with,  and,  according  to  the 
Coptic  canons,  the  Blessed  Eucharist  must  not  be  given  to 
any  unknown  person  (Eenaudot,  i.  p.  205).  When  all  the 
females  are  communicated  the  sacred  ministers  return  to 
the  altar. 

Form  used  in  Communicating. — The  form  of  Communion 
in  use  with  the  Copts  is  :  "  The  Body  and  Blood  of  Eman- 
uel our  God  is  really  here  ";  and  he  who  receives  says, 
"Amen."  It  is  worthy  of  remark  that  the  Copts  al- 
ways communicate  the  laity  by  dipping  the  Host  in  the 
chalice,  and  not  by  administering  both  separately.  He  who 
receives  Holy  Communion  must  shut  his  mouth  and  be 
very  careful  not  to  rub  the  Precious  Particle  with  his  teeth ; 
he  must  have  his  head  uncovered,  his  hands  disposed  in  the 
form  of  a  cross ;  must  be  humble  in  his  bearing,  with  eyea 
cast  down,  and  profound  recollection  depicted  on  his  coun- 

The  Abyssinians,  too,  are  very  strict  in  their  discipline 
regarding  Holy  Communion.  With  them  it  is  customary 
for  all  who  are  going  to  receive  to  wash  their  hands  first, 
and  afterwards  approach  with  great  humility  and  recollec- 
tion. Just  before  distributing  the  sacred  Particles  the 
priest  stands  in  front  of  the  communicants,  and,  holding 
the  Host  in  his  hand,  says  aloud :  "  Behold  the  Bread  of 
the  Saints  I  Let  him  who  is  free  from  sin  approach  ;  but  let 
him  who  is  stained  with  sin  retire,  lest  God  strike  him 
with  his  lightning  ;  as  for  me,  I  wash  my  hands  of  his 
sin."      Out  of  respect  for  the  Holy  Eucharist,  the  com- 

Holy  Communion  in  the  Eastern  Church.         385 

manicants  are  cautioned  against  expectorating  during  the 
entire  day. 

Communion  under  one  Kind  in  the  East.— Outside  of  Mass 
the  Orientals  rarely  administer  Holy  Communion  under  any 
other  form  than  that  of  bread.  There  is  hardly  any  excep- 
tion to  this  rule  throughout  the  entire  East  when  the  Com- 
munion is  intended  for  the  sick.  The  discipline  of  the 
Greeks  in  this  respect  is  very  singular.  They  do  not  cele- 
brate regular  Mass  on  any  of  the  days  of  Lent,  except  Satur- 
days, Sundays,  and  the  Feast  of  the  Annunciation.  In  or- 
der, then,  that  a  sufficiency  of  consecrated  Particles  may  be 
always  on  hand  for  the  sake  of  the  sick,  they  consecrate  on 
these  occasions  a  large  quantity  of  bread,  which  they  steep 
in  the  chalice  before  the  Precious  Blood  is  consumed.  They 
then  take  this  sacred  bread  out,  and,  having  placed  it  on  a 
large  paten,  apply  heat  to  the  latter  until  it  becomes  warm 
enough  to  cause  all  the  moisture  of  the  Host  to  evaporate. 
By  this  means  the  Holy  Bread  becomes  almost  as  hard  as 
flint,  and  is  rendered  proof  against  all  danger  of  corruption, 
so  that  it  may  be  put  away  with  safety  for  an  entire  year,  il 
necessary.  When  communicating  the  sick  afterwards  with 
this,  ordinary  wine  is  sprinkled  over  it  in  order  to  soften  it 
(Goar,  Euchol.  Grate,  p.  208). 

Throughout  the  entire  East  the  general  term  for  a  conse- 
crated Particle  is  Margarita — that  is,  a  pearl.  The  Syrians 
Call  it  Margonita,  but  both  words  are  the  same.  The  term 
Carlo,  a  coal,  is  frequently  applied  to  the  large  Host  on  ac- 
count of  its  vivifying  nature. 

We  shall  now  return  to  the  end  of  the  Communion  accord- 
ing to  the  Latin  Rite. 

After  the  priest  has  adjusted  the  chalice  he  goes  to  the 
Epistle  side,  and  there  reads  from  the  missal  the  prayer 
called  the  "  Communio,"  which  is  a  short  antiphon  bearing 

586  The  Celebration  of  Mass. 

upon  the  feast  of  the  day,  and  generally  taken  from  the  Psal- 
ter. In  former  times  this  prayer  was  denominated  "  Anti- 
phona  ad  Communionem,"  and  it  was  customary  to  sing  it, 
together  with  some  portions  of  a  psalm,  or,  if  necessary,  the 
entire  psalm,  while  rhe  priest  was  communicating  the  people. 
Having  read  the  "  Communio,"  the  priest  goes  to  the  centre 
of  the  altar,  kisses  it,  and,  having  turned  round  to  the  people, 
says:  "Dominus  vobiscum."  He  goes  to  the  missal  again, 
and  reads  from  it,  in  an  audible  tone,  as  many  prayers  called 
"  Post-Communions  "  as  he  read  collects  at  the  beginning  of 
Mass.  In  many  ancient  missals  the  "  Post-Communion"  is  in- 
scribed "  Oratio  ad  complendum,,,  or  the  concluding  prayer, 
because  the  moment  it  was  said  the  people  were  dismissed 
from  church.  During  the  Lenten  season  it  was  customary 
to  add  a  prayer  for  the  sake  of  those  who  could  not,  for  legi- 
timate reasons,  approach  Holy  Communion  with  the  rest. 
This  used  to  be  called  the  "  Oratio  super  Populum,"  and  in 
the  Sacramentaries  of  Pope  Gelasius  and  Pope  Gregory  the 
Great  we  find  it  prescribed  for  every  occasion  on  which  any 
of  the  people  did  not  communicate.  Now  the  "Oratio  super 
Populum  "  is  confined  solely  to  Lent,  and  is  always  the  same 
as  the  prayer  said  at  Vespers,  for  the  reason  that,  according 
to  the  ancient  discipline,  Vespers  and  Mass  formed  one  joint 
act  during  this  season — a  vestige  of  which  we  have  to-day  in 
the  service  of  Holy  Saturday — and  the  last  prayer  of  the  one 
was  made  to  serve  for  the  other  also.  It  must  be  borne  In 
mind  that  up  to  the  twelfth  century  it  was  the  rule  during 
Lent  to  defer  the  celebration  of  Mass  until  the  nin^n  hour 
of  the  day — that  is,  until  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon, 
the  time  at  which  regular  Vespers  began.  Up  to  this 
houi  all  were  obliged  to  remain  fasting.  When  the  disci- 
pline of  the  Church  was  changed  in  this  respect  the  after- 
noon meal  was  appointed  foi  midday,  and  Mass  was  changed 
to  the  forenoon.    The  "  Oratio  super  Populum,"  however, 

End  of  Mass.  387 

was  left  as  it  stood,  and  this  is  why  itself  and  the  prayer  at 
Vespers  are  the  same  to-day.  This  prayer  is  never  said  on 
Sunday,  because  that  day  was  never  kept  as  a  fasting  day. 

After  the  last  prayer  the  priest  closes  the  book,  and,  hav- 
ing turned  round  at  the  middle  of  the  altar  to  the  people, 
salutes  them  for  the  last  time  with  "Dominus  vobiscum," 
and,  if  the  Mass  of  the  day  admit  of  it,  subjoins,  without 
changing  his  position,  "Ite  missa  est" — "  Go,  the  dismis- 
sal is  at  hand."  If  the  occasion  should  not  admit  of  the 
dismissal  of  the  people,  he  says  instead  of  this,  but  facing 
the  altar,  "  Benedicamus  Domino  " — "  Let  us  bless  the 
Lord."  According  to  the  arrangement  of  Pope  Pius  V.,  the 
yule  to  be  guided  by  in  this  respect  is  that  whenever  the 
"Te  Deum  "  is  said  in  the  Divine  Office  "Ite  missa  est"  is 
Baid  in  the  Mass ;  but  when  the  "  Te  Deum  "  is  not  said, 
then  "  Benedicamus  Domino." 

The  "Ite  missa  est"  was  originally  an  invitation  to  leave 
the  church ;  but  it  is  not  so  now,  for  Mass  is  not  finished  un- 
til the  end  of  the  last  Gospel.  It  is,  therefore,  like  many 
other  things,  merely  kept  up  to  preserve  a  vestige  of  an 
ancient  rite.  The  precise  force  of  the  "  Benedicamus 
Domino  "  said  at  this  place  will  be  readily  seen  when  we 
bear  in  mind  that  during  the  penitential  seasons  it  was  cus- 
tomary to  say  some  part  of  the  Divine  Office  after  Mass  ;  and 
as  the  people  generally  were  present  at  this,  they  were  not 
dismissed  at  the  regular  place,  but  were  invited  to  remain 
and  continue  their  devotions  to  the  Lord.  Durandus  tells 
us  that  in  many  places  it  was  customary  to  say  "  Benedica- 
mus Domino"  instead  of  "Ite  missa  est"  after  the  first 
Mass  on  Christmas  morning,  for  the  reason  that  the  office 
of  Lauds  immediately  followed,  at  which  the  people  always 
assisted.  This  custom  is  yet  kept  up  at  Lodi  (Romsee,  p. 

388  The  Celebration  of  Mais. 

Touching  the  exact  rendition  of  these  words  into  Eng- 
lish a  diversity  of  opinion  exists.  According  to  some,  the 
full  form  is,  "Ite  missa  est  Hostia"—  "Go,  the  Host  has 
been  sent  on  high ";  according  to  others,  it  is,  "Ite  missa 
est  ecclesia"— "Go,  the  church,  or  assembly,  is  dismissed." 
The  great  majority,  however,  interpret  the  words  in  an  en- 
tirely different  way,  and  in  doing  so  they  are  supported  by 
the  strongest  authority.  The  word  "  missa  "  here  has  precise- 
ly the  same  meaning — and  is,  in  fact,  the  same  word,  only  in 
a  different  form — as  "  missio,"  or  "  dimissio,"  the  Latin  noun 
for  dismissal;  and  therefore,  according  to  this,  "Ite  missa 
est  "is  nothing  else  but  "Ite  missio  est  "—that  is,  "Go, 
the  dismissal  is  at  hand."  The  practice  of  using  the  parti- 
cipial form  in  such  cases  as  this,  instead  of  the  real  substan- 
tive, was  very  common  with  the  early  Fathers,  and  we  find 
instances  also  of  it  in  Cicero,  Horace,  Ovid,  Virgil,  and  Sue- 
tonius. Tertullian  and  St.  Cyprian  both  use  "  remissa  "  in- 
stead of  "  remissio."  The  first  says,  for  example,  "  Diximus 
de  remissa  peccatorum  "  (lib.  iv.  ad  Marcionem) ;  the  second, 
"  Dominus  baptizatur  a  servo,  et  remissam  peccatorum  da- 
turus,"  etc.  (Hierurgia,  by  Dr.  Rock,  p.  210,  note). 

Having  said  the  "  Ite  missa  est,"  the  priest  turns  to  the 
altar,  and,  with  hands  placed  upon  it,  recites  the  prayer, 
"Placeat  tibi,  Sancta  Trinitas,"  to  the  Holy  Trinity,  asking 
that  his  service  may  be  pleasing  on  high.  After  this  prayer 
he  turns  and  blesses  the  people  in  the  name  of  the  Father, 
and  of  the  Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  In  Masses  for  the 
dead  there  is  no  blessing,  for  reasons  that  we  shall  presently 
see ;  nor  is  there  any  dismissal,  because  the  people  are  sup- 
posed to  remain  for  the  absolution  of  the  body  and  its  inter- 
ment. The  priest,  on  such  occasions,  turns  to  the  altar  an£ 
simply  says,  "  Requiescant  in  pace." 

End  of  Mass  in  Ancient  Times,  389 

Dismissal  in  tlie  Eastern  Church. — The  forms  used  in 
the  Eastern  Church  vary  with  the  different  liturgies.  In 
some  places  the  dismissal  is,  "Go  in  peace";  in  others, 
"Let  us  depart  in  peace";  and  in  a  number  of  places, 
"  Let  us  go  in  the  peace  of  Christ."  In  the  Liturgy 
of  St.  James  the  expression  is,  "In  the  peace  of  Christ 
let  us  depart."  In  most  of  the  Oriental  churches  a  long 
prayer  is  sometimes  read,  called  the  prayer  of  dismissal, 
after  which  all  the  people  leave  the  church.  According  to 
the  Liturgy  of  St.  Chrysostom,  this  prayer  is  worded  as 
follows  :  "The  grace  of  thy  lips,  shining  forth  like  a  torch, 
illuminated  the  world,  enriched  the  universe  with  the  trea- 
sures of  liberality,  and  manifested  to  us  the  height  of 
humility ;  but  do  thou,  our  instructor,  by  thy  words,  Fa- 
ther John  Chrysostom,  intercede  to  the  Word,  Christ  our 
God,  that  our  souls  may  be  saved." 


That  Mass  formerly  terminated  at  the  "Ite  missa  est" 
is  too  well  known  to  need  proof,  for  the  Gospel  of  St.  John 
is  a  late  introduction.  The  old  custom  is  yet  kept  up  by 
the  Carthusians,  who  neither  say  the  "Placeat  tibi,"  as  we 
do,  nor  bless  the  people  at  this  place. 

The  custom  of  blessing  the  people  at  this  part  of  the  Mass 
only  goes  as  far  back  as  the  tenth  century.  Before  this  time 
the  only  blessing  given  was  that  spoken  of  as  taking  place 
before  the  "kiss  of  peace"  (Bona,  p.  372 ;  Eomsee,  p.  334). 
Some  writers,  from  not  having  borne  this  carefully  in  mind, 
have  fallen  into  the  strange  blunder  of  saying  that  in 
ancient  times  the  blessing  used  to  be  given  before  the  "Ite 
missa  est."  If  by  lefore  they  mean,  in  this  case,  what  used 
to  take  place  at  the  "  Pax,"  they  are  right ;  but  as  they  can- 
not mean  this,  their  mistake  is  a  great  one.  This  error 
arose  from  the  fact  that  the  prayer  now  called  the  "  Post- 

390  TJie  Celebration  of  Mass. 

Communion  "  used  to  be  anciently  called  the  "  Benedictio," 
inasmuch  as  it  was  said  to  invoke  a  blessing  on  all  who  had 
communicated  that  day.  No  particular  ceremonies  attended 
its  recital,  and  no  blessing  was  imparted  before  or  after  it. 
Strabo  makes  this  very  clear  when  he  says  :  "It  was  decreed 
by  the  Council  of  Orleans  that  the  people  should  not  go 
.away  from  Mass  before  the  blessing  of  the  priest,  by  which 
blessing  is  understood  the  last  prayer  that  the  priest  re- 
cites" (Bona,  p.  372). 

When  the  custom  of  blessing  the  people  at  the  end  of 
Mass  was  introduced  every  priest  blessed  with  a  triple  cross, 
as  bishops  do  now ;  and  this  continued  to  be  the  rule  until 
the  sixteenth  century,  when  it  was  abrogated  by  Pope  Pius 
V.,  yet  so  as  not  to  abolish  it  altogether,  for  he  allowed  it  at 
Solemn  High  Mass.  Pope  Clement  VIII. ,  however,  entirely 
restricted  the  triple  form  to  bishops,  and  ordained  that 
priests  should  bless  only  with  a  single  cross  (Eomsee, 
p.  336).  The  old  custom  of  not  blessing  the  people  at  all  is 
yet  kept  up  in  Masses  for  the  dead.  In  the  old  law  it  was 
customary,  too,  to  pronounce  a  blessing  over  the  people 
before  they  were  dismissed.  This  was  generally  worded  as 
follows  :  "  May  the  Lord  bless  thee  and  keep  thee  ;  may  the 
Lord  show  thee  his  face  and  have  pity  on  thee ;  may  the 
Lord  turn  his  countenance  to  thee  and  grant  thee  peace " 
(Bona,  p.  373 ;  Reasons  of  the  Law  of  Moses,  by  Maimon- 
ides,  notes,  p.  402).  The  Jews  even  at  the  present  day  are 
dismissed  from  their  synagogues  with  this  blessing,  which 
they  all  look  upon  with  the  greatest  reverence.  According 
to  many  liturgical  scholars  of  note,  the  triple  blessing  now 
peculiar  to  bishops  is  founded  on  the  three  divisions  made 
of  this  ancient  mode  of  blessing  in  use  with  the  Jews, 
which,  as  we  see,  is  taken  from  the  Book  of  Numbers,  vi. 
24-26  (Bona,  ibid.)  When  the  priests  of  the  Carmelite 
Rite  have  given  the  last  blessing  they  kneel  down  on  the 

The  Gospel  of  St  John.  391 

upper  step  of  the  altar  and  recite  aloud  the  ' '  Salve  Regina," 
or  "Regina  Cceli"  if  it  be  Faschal  time. 


After  the  priest  has  imparted  his  blessing  he  turns  to  the 
Gospel  corner  of  the  altar,  and  there,  standing  with  his  face 
a  little  turned  towards  the  people,  as  at  the  first  Gospel, 
reads  the  "In  principio,"  or  Gospel  of  St.  John.  He 
kneels  so  as  to  touch  the  ground  at  the  words  "et  Verbum 
caro  factum  est" — "And  the  Word  was  made  flesh" — to 
remind  us  of  the  profound  humility  of  our  Lord  in  becom- 
ing man  for  our  sake. 

At  the  end  of  the  Gospel  the  server  answers,  "Deo 
gratias,"  and  the  Mass  is  ended.  The  priest  then  takes  the 
chalice  with  him  into  the  sacristy,  and,  having  unrobed 
himself,  remains  some  moments  in  acts  of  thanksgiving  and 

History  of  the  Gospel  of  St.  John. — From  the  surpassing 
sublimity  of  this  Gospel  many  ancient  philosophers  used  to 
say  that  it  ought  to  be  written  in  letters  of  gold  and  con- 
spicuously hung  up  in  every  church,  in  order  that  all  might 
be  able  to  see  it  (Bona,  p.  373).  From  the  remotest  days  of 
Christianity  it  has  been  held  in  the  deepest  veneration  by  all 
classes  of  people,  and  many  pious  Catholics  now,  as  well  as 
of  old,  carry  their  reverence  for  it  so  far  as  to  wear  it  on 
their  persons.  But  it  has  not  been  always  a  part  of  the 
Mass.  Up  to  the  time  of  Pope  Pius  V.  a  priest  could  say  it 
or  omit  it,  just  as  he  pleased,  for  it  was  then  only  a  private 
prayer,  just  like  the  "  Benedicite."  This  holy  Pontiff,  how- 
ever, finding  how  very  much  attached  the  people  were  to  it, 
inserted  it  in  the  missal  which  was  drawn  up  by  his  orders, 
and  so  made  its  recital  obligatory  on  all,  with  certain  special 
exceptions.  The  bishop  does  not  recite  it  at  the  altar  in 
Solemn  High  Mass,  but  only  on  the  way  back  to  his  throne, 

392  The  Antidoron. 

and  it  is  never  recited  by  the  Carthusians,  Cistercians,  the 
monks  of  Monte  Casino,  or  those  of  Cluny.  At  Lyons  it 
is  recited  by  the  priest  on  his  way  back  from  the  altar,  and 
at  Clermont  it  is  said  at  the  sacristy  door  (Romsee,  p.  341). 
It  has  no  place  in  the  Mass  of  the  Orientals,  nor  is  it  cus- 
tomary to  say  it  in  the  Pope's  Chapel  at  Rome. 


For  the  reason  that  many  Protestants  who  travel  in  the 
East  are  fond  of  saying  when  they  come  home  that  the  Ori- 
entals allowed  them  to  partake  of  the  "  consecrated  wafer," 
meaning  Holy  Communion,  we  do  not  think  that  our  work 
would  be  complete  if  we  failed  to  expose  this  deception. 
From  time  immemorial  it  has  been  customary  all  through 
the  East  to  bless,  before  regular  Mass  begins,  a  large  quan- 
tity of  bread  at  one  of  the  side  altars,  and  keep  it  for  distri- 
bution, after  service  is  over,  among  all  who,  for  some  legiti- 
mate reason,  could  not  approach  regular  Communion  on. 
that  day.  From  the  fact  that  it  was  given  as  a  sort  of  sub- 
stitute for  ordinary  Communion  it  used  to  be  called  the 
Antidoron — that  is,  something  in  lieu  of  the  Doron,  or  gift, 
as  the  Holy  Eucharist  was  generally  styled ;  and  all  could  re- 
ceive it  at  pleasure.  Its  use  is  still  kept  up  in  the  East, 
and  at  one  time  it  was  also  employed  in  the  Western 
Church.  The  French  call  it  pain  henit.  This  is  the  true 
account  of  what  Protestant  tourists  are  pleased  to  call  the 
"  consecrated  wafer "  of  the  Oriental  Church,  and  which 
they  often  boast  of  having  received.  To  them  it  certainly 
ought  to  be  something  sacred,  for  it  is,  to  say  the  least  of  it, 
Messed,  and  therefore  far  superior  to  any  bread  that  they 
have  in  their  service ;  for  the  power  of  blessing  resides  not  in 
their  ministers,  but  is  enjoyed  by  those  of  the  East,  not- 
withstanding that  they  may  be  heretical  and  schismatical  at 
the  same  time. 



Augustine,  Saint,  City  of  God. 

Bona,  Cardinal,  Rer.  Liturg.     Antwerp,  1739. 

"  "        Divina  Psalmodia. 

Benedict  XIV.,  Pope,  Be  Sacrosanct.  Missce  Sacrif.  et  Mi- 

Bouvry,  Expositio  Rubricarum  Missalis  et  Ritualis. 

"  "  "  Breviarii. 

Bannister,  Temples  of  the  Hebrews.     London,  1861. 
Burder,  Religious  Ceremonies  and  Customs.     London,  1841. 
Badger,  The  Nestorians  and  their  Rituals.     London,  1852. 
Brerewood,  Enquiries  on  the  Diversity  of  Languages  and 

Religions.     1674. 
Bingham,  Antiquities  of  the  Christian  Church. 
Barry,  The  Sacramentals. 
Breviary,  Syriac  Maronite.     Rome,  1863. 
Catalanus,  Comment,  in  Pontifical.  Romanum. 
Cceremoniale  Episcoporum. 

Prmdicatorum  seu  Dominicanorum. 
"  Carthusianorum. 

"  Carmelitarum. 

Ceremonial  of  the  Papal  Chapel. 


394        A  List  of  the  Principal  Authors  Consulted. 

Denzinger,  Ritus  Orientalium. 

Durandus,  Rationale  Divinorum  Offic.     Naples,  1859. 

De  Herdt,  Praxis  Pontificalis.     3  vols. 

"         Sacr.  Liturg.  Praxis.     3  vols. 
De  Conny,  Les  Ceremonies  de  VEglise. 

"         Recherches  sur  V Abolition  de  la  Liturg.  Ant.  dans 
VEglise  de  Lyon. 
De  Montor,  Lives  of  the  Popes. 
De  Carpo,  Cmremoniale  juxta  Ritum  Romanum, 
Ferraris,  Bibliotheca. 

Goar,  Euchologium  Grcecorum.     Paris,  1647. 
Gavantus  and  Merati,  Thesaur.  Sacr.  Rit.  Missalis.    Venice, 

"  "        Thesaur.  Sacr.  Rit.  Breviarii.     1749. 

Gagarin,  The  Russian  Clergy. 
Hefele,  History  of  the  Christian  Councils. 
Hemans,  Catholic  Italy.     2  vols.     Florence,  1862. 
Holy  Days  of  the  English  Church. 
Innocent  III.,  Pope,  De  Sacro  Altaris  Mysterio. 
Kozma,  Liturgia  Sacra  Catholica. 
Lobera,  El  Porque  de  todas  las  Ceremonias  de  la  Iglesia. 

Liturgia  Mozaraoica. 
Lingard,    History    and    Antiquities    of  the    Anglo-Saxon 

Lamy,  De  Fide  Syrorum  et  Disciplina  in  re  Eucharistica. 
Le  Bran,  Explication  de  la  Messe.     2  vols. 
Merati  and  Gavantus,  Thesaur.  Sacr.  Rituum. 
Martinucci,  Manuale  Sacr.  Cwremoniarum.     4  vols. 
Maimonides,  Reasons  of  the  Laws  of  Moses. 
Maringola,  Institutiones  Liturgical.     2  vols. 
Manuale  Decretorum  (up  to  1866). 
Moran,  Origin,  Doctrine,  and  Discipline  of  the  Early  Irish 


A  List  of  the  Principal  Authors  Consulted.       395 

Morinus,  De  Sacris  Ecclesim  Ordinationibus. 

Miihlbauer,  Comment,  in  Pontif.  Romanum. 

Marine,  De  Antiquis  Ecclesim  Ritibus.    Venice,  1783. 

Neale,  Holy  Eastern  Church,  General  Introduction.      2  vols. 
"      Hymns  of  the  Eastern  Church. 

Neale  and  Littledale,  Primitive  Liturgies. 

Northcote,  The  Roman  Catacombs. 

Newman,  Tracts,   Ecclesiastical  and  Theological.     London, 

Poetm  Christians. 

Pococke,  Travels  in  Egypt,  etc. 

Pleyer,  De  Sacrosancto  Missa  Sacrificio. 

Pope,  Holy  Week  in  the  Vatican. 

Palm  a,  Hist  or  ia  Ecclesiastica. 

Riddle,  Christian  Antiquities. 

Romanoff,  Rites  and  Customs  of  the  Greco-Russian  Church. 

Renaudot,  Liturgiarum  Orientalium  Collectio.     2  vols. 

Romsee,  Sensus  Lit.  Moralis  ac  Histor.  Rit.  ac  Ccer.  Missce. 

Rock,  Church  of  our  Fathers.     4  vols. 

"     Hierurgia. 
Schild,  Manuale  Liturgicum. 
Semita  Sanctorum. 

Selvaggio,  Institutiones  Christianorum  Antiquorum.    2  vols. 
Smith  and  D wight,  Researches  in  Armenia.     2  vols. 
ToDdini,  The  Pope  of  Rome  and  the  Eastern  Popes. 
Vetromile,  Travels  in  Europe  and  the  Holy  Land. 


(The  numbers  refer  to  the  pages.) 

Abaneth — name  given  by  Moses  to  the  cincture,  41. 

Ablution — ablution  of  the  hands,  178;  of  the  chalice,  370;  how  often  a 
bishop  washes  his  hands  when  celebrating,  179;  ancient  practice 
in  this  respect,  179. 

Abouna — origin  of  the  word — an  Abyssinian  prelate,  28. 

Abyssinians — how  governed  in  spirituals — present  orthodox  population 
— number  of  the  schismatics — their  spiritual  head— their  ordina- 
tions doubtful  as  to  validity— celebrate  Mass  in  the  ancient 
Ethiopic — its  two  dialects — why  sometimes  called  the  Chaldaic— 
their  singular  devotion  to  the  Mother  of  God,  28,  29;  theit 
strange  tradition  regarding  the  Ark  of  the  Covenant — keep  the 
Holy  Eucharist  in  it — prayers  and  ceremonies  used  in  blessing 
it,  89. 

Adar— last  month  of  the  Jewish  ecclesiastical  year,  217. 

Adrian  II.,  Pope,  gives  permission  to  have  Mass  said  in  the  Sclavonic 
language,  24,  25. 

Agnus  Dei,  381 ;  who  introduced  it  into  the  Mass — its  triple  repetition, 
362;  apparition  of  the  Mother  of  God  regarding  the  "  dona  nobis 
pacem,"  3G3. 

Alb — why  so  called,  36;  antiquity  of  its  use — formerly  made  of  silk — its 
ornamentation — the  alb  presented  to  St.  Peter's  at  Rome  by  the 
father  of  Alfred  the  Great — silken  albs  for  Holy  Thursday  and 
Holy  Saturday— those  of  cloth-of-gold  worn  by  the  monks  of 
Cluny — albs  of  green,  blue,  and  red  in  the  Monastery  of  Peter- 
borough— one  of  a  black  color  used  on  Good  Friday — figurative 
meaning,  37;  Alb  of  the  Greeks — its  material,  38;  prayer  said  by 
the  Russian  priests  in  donning  it,  39. 

Alleluia — its  derivation  and  meaning — how  esteemed  by  the  early  Chris- 
tians, 221;  what  St.  .Anselm  said  about  its  celestial  origin — when 
omitted  in  the  Mass,  and  why,  222. 

*'  Alma  Redemptoris "—its  author — see  Hermannus  Contractus, 


398  General  Index. 

Altar— its  derivation — dimensions — material — the  one  used  at  the  Last 
Supper,  113 ;  wooden  altars  of  St.  Peter  yet  preserved  at  Rome — 
inscription  upon  one  of  them — the  first  Pope  who  made  stone 
altars  obligatory— altars  of  gold,  silver,  and  precious  stones,  114; 
silver  altars  presented  to  St.  John  Lateran  by  Constantine  the 
Great — altar  of  gold  and  gems  bestowed  by  the  Empress  Pul- 
cheria — the  marvellous  altar  of  the  Church  of  Holy  Wisdom 
(Sancta  Sophia)  at  Constantinople — inscription  upon  its  front, 
115 ;  tombs  of  the  martyrs  used  as  altars — why  called  ' '  Memo- 
ria,"  "Confessio,"  etc.,  121;  symbolism  of  altars,  116;  altars  of 
the  Oriental  Church,  117;  altar  coverings,  117. 

Altar  cards — how  many  required  by  the  rubrics,  119,  120. 

Ambo — its  use  in  ancient  times — origin  of  the  name — more  than  one 
used  in  some  churches — materials  of  which  made,  219;  devices 
used  upon  them — where  they  are  yet  employed,  220. 

Ambrosian  Liturgy — its  full  history  and  peculiarities,  110,  111. 

Amen — its  meaning — antiquity  of  its  use — same  in  every  language,  214; 
not  answered  at  the  end  of  the  " Canon"  on  Easter  Sunday 
when  the  Pope  is  the  celebrant,  why,  356. 

Amharic — see  Ethiopic  or  Abyssinian. 

Amice— origin  of  the  name — its  various  appellations — not  in  use  with 
the  Greeks — custom  in  regard  to  it  with  the  Ambrosians  and 
Maronites — what  the  Armenians  call  it — description  of  theirs — its 
early  history,  and  the  office  it  formerly  served — how  long  this 
continued — practice  of  the  Capuchins  and  Dominicans  regarding 
the  manner  of  wearing  it — its  mystical  meaning,  35,  36. 

Angel,  a  coin — why  so  called,  273. 

Antidoron — its  derivation— what  it  means — how  Protestants  travelling 
in  the  East  mistake  it  frequently  for  the  Blessed  Eucharist— what 
the  French  call  it,  392,  393. 

Antimens— what  they  are— their  use  by  the  Orientals— how  consecrated, 
117,  118. 

Antipendium— when  used,  and  why  so  called — its  color,  etc.,  113. 

Apse — see  frontispiece. 

Aquarians— why  so  called— their  heresy — what  thpy  offered  in  the 
chalice,  165. 

Arabic— the  pure  Arabic  of  the  Koran  a  dead  language — liturgical 
language  of  all  the  Mahometans,  32;  the  vernacular  of  the  Maro- 
nites, Copts,  etc. — the  Gospel  of  the  Mass  read  in  it  after  it  has 
first  been  read  in  the  liturgical  language,  23,  30. 

Arabs — divided  into  three  special  classes — names  and  meaning  of  each 

class,  109. 
Archimandrite— origin  and  application  of  the  word,  7U 

General  Index,  399 

Ariua — his  personal  appearance — his  real  error — condemned  at  the 
General  Council  of  Nicaea  in  a.d.  325,  253. 

Ark  of  the  Covenant,  80 ;  strange  tradition  of  the  Abyssinians  concern- 
ing it,  88. 

Armenians — use  unleavened  bread  in  the  Holy  Eucharist — liturgical 
language — patriarch — residence — their  great  monastery  of  San 
Lazaro— do  not  mix  water  with  the  wine  in  the  chalice,  and  why, 
25,  26. 

Artophorion — name  of  the  receptacle  in  which  the  Blessed  Sacrament  is 
reserved  by  the  Greeks — where  situated,  88. 

"Aufer  a  nobis" — when  said — meaning  and  reference  of  the  expression 
Holy  of  Holies,  190;  antiquity  of  the  prayer,  191. 

Bali  language — its  relation  to  the  Sanscrit — though  now  a  dead  language, 
yet  is  used  by  the  natives  of  Ceylon,  Bali,  Madura,  and  Java  in 
their  religious  service — language  of  Lamaism,  82. 

Baradai,  James — one  of  the  reformers  of  Eutychianism — the  Jacobites, 
or  Monophy 'sites,  of  Syria,  so  called  from  him,  26. 

Beca — one  of  the  ancient  insignia  of  the  doctorate — what  it  is — its  color, 
etc.,  55. 

Bells — their  use  in  divine  service — mentioned  in  the  old  law — large 
ones  described  in  the  Mishna,  146 ;  the  first  who  introduced  them 
into  the  Christian  Church — why  called  campcmce,  why  Twice — 
ancient  substitute  for  bells,  147;  different  kinds  of  semantrons— 
why  the  Mahometans  prohibit  bells  to  be  rung  in  their  dominions, 
147;  concessions  in  this  respect  to  the  Christians  of  the  Ea?i — 
bells  of  the  church  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre  at  Jerusalem — the 
Syrians  ascribe  their  invention  to  Noe — their  explanation  of  this, 
148;  bells  of  the  Nestorians,  Armenians,  and  Abyssinians — when 
first  introduced  into  the  Eastern  Church,  and  by  whom,  149,  150; 
Cretan  ballad  regarding  their  ringing — those  used  in  the  Russian 
Church — the  great  monster  bell  of  Moscow,  150;  serves  now  as  a 
chapel,  151 ;  bells  silent  the  last  days  of  Holy  Week,  and  why, 
152;  names  and  dimensions  of  the  largest  bells  in  the  world,  151. 

Benedict  XIV.,  Pope — how  he  used  to  say  Mass  sitting  down  during  his 
last  sickness,  212. 

Berretta— -clerical  cap — origin  of  the  word — shape  of  berretta,  52;  its 
primitive  form — date  of  its  introduction  as  an  article  of  clerical 
attire — what  its  corners  symbolize — its  color — who  may  wear  a 
red  one — description  of  a  Cardinal's — that  worn  by  doctors  of 
divinity — when  it  may  be  employed — ceremonies  employed  in 
conferring  it,  53 ;  the  oath  taken — names  of  the  institutions  in  the 
United  States  which  have  the  privilege  of  conferring  it — when 

400  General  Index. 

cardinals  first  received  permission  to  wear  a  red  one,  54,  55; 
what  the  red  color  is  intended  to  call  to  mind — substitute  worn  by 
the  Pope  for  a  berretta — its  material— description — when  doffed— 
number  of  corners  worn  to  the  berretta  by  the  clergy  of  France, 
Spain,  and  Germany — ornamental  one  of  the  French  universities 
for  a  doctor  of  divinity,  for  a  canon — singular  privilege  granted 
by  the  Holy  See  to  the  Catholic  missionaries  of  China  regarding 
the  use  of  the  berretta  at  Mass,  56;  berretta  of  the  Orientals,  5C, 
57;  the  kind  worn  by  the  schismatical  Patriarch  of  Alexandria, 
who  never  doffs  it  during  Mass— this  right  also  arrogated  by  the 
Patriarch  of  the  Nestorians— the  one  used  by  the  Copts,  57. 

Bible— how  the  ancient  Hebrews  divided  it,  217. 

Bishop — why  he  vests  at  the  altar,  180 ;  the  Greek  bishops  wear  no  mitre 
like  ours,  57;  his  blessing,  361. 

"  Black  Clergy  " — why  so  called  by  the  Russians,  56. 

Blessed  Eucharist — brought  home  during  the  days  of  persecution — 
brought  on  journeys  sometimes,  377;  given  to  children— buried 
with  the  dead,  378;  why  this  practice  was  discontinued— miracle 
recorded,  379;  ceremonies  observed  when  given  by  the  bishop, 
379,  380;  respect  shown  to  it  by  the  Church,  380;  the  great  reve- 
rence shown  it  all  through  Spain,  381 ;  inserted  formerly  in  the 
altar  instead  of  relics.  See  Relics,  also  Holy  Communion,  for  fur- 
ther particulars. 

Blessed  Virgin — how  represented  in  mediseval  art,  6 ;  a  letter  supposed 
to  be  written  by  her  inserted  as  a  relic  in  the  Cathedral  of  Mes- 
sina, 124. 

Blessing  of  nuptials,  according  to  the  Rite  of  York,  6;  see  also  Bridal 

Book — see  Missal. 

Borromeo,  St.  Charles— chosen  by  the  Council  of  Trent  as  one  of  the 
committee  to  examine  church  music,  99. 

Bread  used  at  Mass — leavened  and  unleavened — how  baked,  153,  155; 
devices  used  on  the  irons — the  various  interpretations  of  "  I H  S  K 
— its  true  meaning,  155,  156;  breads,  by  whom  made— story  of  St. 
"Wenceslaus,  Duke  of  Bohemia,  157;  size  of  the  bread — form- 
breads  of  the  Oriental  Church,  158;  ceremonies  attending  their 
making,  159 ;  how  strict  the  Oriental  canons  are  on  this  head, 
160;  bread  used  by  the  Greeks — ceremonies  attending  its  prepara- 
tion at  the  Prothesis— meaning  of  its  quadrangular  shape — in- 
scription stamped  upon  it,  161,  162,  164;  inscription  of  the  Coptic 
bread — history  of  the  Trisagion,  162,  163. 

Breaking  of  the  Host— explanation  and  history  of  this  rite — into  how 
many  parts  it  is  broken  by  the  Mozarabics — their  different  names, 

General  Index.  401 

358,  359;  the  breaking  of  the  Host  in  the  Eastern  Church,  359, 

Burse — its  material  and  use,  85. 

Cabala — what  the  word  means  with  the  rabbins,  188. 

Caliph— origin  and  application  of  the  word,  41. 

Calotte — see  Zucchetto. 

Canon — origin  of  the  word — its  various  applications,  295;  care  taken 
by  the  Church  of  this  part  of  the  Mass — instances  of  her  unwill- 
ingness to  change  any  part  of  it.  296 ;  its  great  antiquity — names 
given  it  by  the  early  Fathers — where  it  anciently  began,  297;  why 
read  in  secret — singular  story  upon  this  head  related  in  the 
Spiritual  Meadow  of  John  Moschus — a  precedent  for  this  silence 
—what  the  Mishna  says  about  it,  298,  299 ;  picture  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  Canon — ancient  customs,  300. 

Canonical  fingers — why  the  thumb  and  index-finger  are  so  called,  280; 
how  the  priest  joins  these  fingers  after  the  consecration  of  the 
Host — the  reason  of  this  practice,  329. 

Cap,  clerical — see  Berretta. 

Cardinal's  berretta— full  history  of  it,  53,  54. 

Cardinal's  red  hat — date  of  its  introduction — to  whom  first  granted,  55. 

Cardinal  Vitelozzi — chosen  by  the  Council  of  Trent  as  one  of  the  com* 
mittee  to  examine  church  music,  99. 

"  Care-cloth  M — what  it  was  used  for,  and  when,  6. 

Carmelites — by  whom  founded,  61;  their  history  and  the  manner  in 
which  they  say  Mass,  106,  107. 

Carthusians — why  so  called — who  founded  them,  61 ;  the  peculiarities  of 
their  manner  of  celebrating  Mass — other  privileges  enjoyed  by 
them,  104,  105. 

Cassock — ancient  name — material,  60;  color — the  kind  given  by  the 
University  of  Paris  to  doctors  of  theology  and  canon  law — who 
empowered  them  to  do  this,  61 ;  Oxford  said  to  enjoy  the  same 
privilege — cassocks  with  pendants  to  them — meaning  of  this  cus- 
tom— color  and  material  of  the  cassock  worn  by  our  Holy  Father 
the  Pope — antiquity  of  this  practice,  62. 

Catacomb — what  the  Catacombs  are — origin  of  the  word,  70. 

Catechumen — origin  of  the  word — its  application — how  many  classes  of 
catechumens  in  the  early  Church — where  their  Mass  began  and 
ended — their  expulsion  from  the  church,  2,  247,  248. 

Cenacle  of  Sion — account  of  it — indulgences  granted  to  all  who  visit  it 
with  the  proper  dispositions,  18. 

Ceremony — origin  of  the  word,  3. 

Chaldaic  language — has  eighteen  alphabets — by  whom  used  in  the  Mast 
•-how  the  word  is  used  in  the  East,  24, 

402  General  Index. 

Chalice— its  present  form— why  made  formerly  in  shape  of  an  apple- 
chalice  used  by  our  Lord  at  the  Last  Supper,  69,  70;  material  of 
the  chalice— chalices  of  pewter— why  those  of  brass,  glass,  and 
wood  forbidden— glass  chalices  used  in  the  very  early  days,  70,  71; 
also  those  made  of  wood— what  St.  Boniface  said  when  questioned 
upon  this  head— wooden  chalices  interdicted  by  the  canons  of 
King  Edgar  of  England— chalices  of  marble,  71;  of  precious 
stones— of  horn  and  ivory— those  of  horn  prohibited  by  the  Synod 
of  Calcuith— decree  of  the  Council  of  Rheims  regarding  their  ma- 
terial—ornamentation of  chalices  formerly— the  various  devices 
employed  in  them,  72 ;  ministerial  chalices,  72 ;  to  whose  charge 
entrusted— offertorial  chalice— baptismal  chalices— chalices  with 
tubes  or  reeds  attached— how  adjusted,  73,  74;  vestige  of  this 
custom  yet  in  Papal  High  Mass,  74;  chalices  of  the  Orientals— 
those  used  by  the  Copts— why  their  consecration  is  not  generally 
observed  in  the  East,  75 ;  miracles  recorded  on  this  head— form 
and  ceremonies  of  the  consecration  of  a  chalice  according  to  the 
Coptic  Ritual— always  consecrated  in  the  Latin  Church— opinion 
of  Diana  upon  the  necessity  of  this,  76. 
•'  Charter-House  Monks  "—see  Carthusians. 

Chasuble— why  so  called— ancient  form— material— when  the  present 
kind  came  into  use— how  introduced — upon  what  authority,  49, 
50;  chasuble  of  the  Orientals— the  one  used  by  the  Maronites— 
Coptic  chasuble— chasuble  worn  by  the  Greeks— that  in  use 
among  the  bishops  of  Russia— Nestorian  chasubles,  51 ;  that  used 
by  the  Hungarian  Greeks— its  name  among  the  Syrians— what 
called  in  ancient  Latin— how  named  by  the  Greeks,  52;  St.  Pe- 
ter's, 21. 
Chorepiscopus,  175. 

Christians,  ancient— how  they  assisted  at  Mass,  211. 
Christmas  day— mystical  meaning  of  its  three  Masses— who  instituted 

them,  169. 
Ciborium— why  so  called— when  used — its  ancient  meaning,  77. 
Cincture— antiquity  of  its  use— its  various  names-  -ancient  form,  materi- 
al, color,  etc.,  39;  the  one  found  at  the  ruins  of  Durham— men- 
tioned in  Holy  Scripture,  40;  description  of  the  Aaronic  cincture 
as  given  by  Josephus,  41 ;  that  worn  by  our  Lord  yet  preserved 
at  Aix-la-Chapelle— when  exposed  for  veneration— our  Blessed 
Lady's  kept  at  Prato,  in  Tuscany,  42;  cincture  of  the  Orientals— 
what  the  Mahometan  rulers  of  Egypt  used  to  enact  regarding  its 
daily  use  by  the  Christians  of  that  country— name  given  it  by 
Moses,  41;  cincture  of  the  Russian  priests— moral  signification, 
41,  42. 

General  Index.  403 

Clergy— origin  of  the  word,  32. 

Coeur  de  Lion— Richard  I.,  King  of  England— his  zeal  in  leading  the 
choir  at  Mass,  101. 

Collar,  Roman — when  introduced — custom  regarding  its  use  among  the 
religious  orders  generally — its  ancient  form— laws  relating  to  it 
passed  in  France,  Belgium,  and  Italy,  59 ;  how  it  varies  in  color 
with  the  rank  of  the  wearer — the  kind  worn  by  cardinals — by 
bishops — by  monsignores — by  canons,  60. 

Collects — number  generally  said— why  so  called,  213;  collects  of  the 
Orientals,  214. 

Cologne — history  of  its  great  cathedral — possesses  the  skulls  of  the  Magi 
— how  preserved,  282. 

Comb— when  used  in  the  Mass— full  history  of  it,  286,  287. 

"  Communicantes  " — how  our  Blessed  Lady  is  here  styled — how  styled  in 
the  Oriental  liturgies,  310,  311 ;  brief  history  of  the  saints  herein 
mentioned,  312  to  321;  why  none  but  martyrs  are  mentioned, 
312 ;  why  SS.  Mark  and  Luke  are  not  named,  321. 

"  Communio  " — how  this  prayer  was  designated  in  ancient  times,  386. 

Communion — see  Holy  Communion. 

Concelebration — what  it  means — how  long  practised  in  the  Latin  Church 
— what  Pope  Innocent  III.  says  concerning  it — vestiges  of  it 
remain  unto  this  day,  173;  questions  started  concerning  it,  174; 
the  Orientals  practise  it  yet,  175. 

Confession — see  Confiteor. 

Confiteor — its  antiquity — when  reduced  to  its  present  form — the  Con- 
fiteor of  the  Sarum  Rite,  how  worded — form  used  by  the  Domini- 
cans, 187;  why  the  priest  strikes  his  breast  three  times  when 
saying  it — ancient  precedents  for  this  practice — confession  in  the 
old  law,  188;  form  of  wording — nothing  can  be  added  to  the 
Confiteor  without  the  permission  of  the  Holy  See — what  orders 
have  the  privilege  of  adding  the  name  of  their  founder — con* 
fession  in  the  Oriental  Church — its  form  with  the  Maronites, 

Consecration — explanation  of  both  forms,  with  comments  on  the  words 
of  the  narration  and  those  of  institution,  324  to  330;  strange 
opinion  of  Ambrosius  Catharinus  about  "  benedixit  " — what  hap- 
pened, according  to  his  views,  when  our  Lord  pronounced  the  bless- 
ing in  each  case — views  upon  this  head  of  St.  Thomas  Aquinas  and 
St.  Augustine,  327.  328 ;  what  Fromondus  says — into  how  many 
parts  our  Lord  broke  the  bread  on  this  occasion,  328 ;  custom  of 
the  Eastern  and  Western  Church  in  this  respect,  329 ;  consecra- 
tion of  the  chalice — full  explanation  of  all  the  ceremonies  and 
actions — comments  on  the  form  and  on  its  different  clauses,  830, 

404  General  Index. 

331;    consecration  in   the  Oriental  Church— words  pronounced 
aloud — people  answer,  333,  334. 

Constantinopolitan  Creed — see  Symbol. 

Coptic  language — its  connection  with  the  ancient  Egyptian — who  say- 
Mass  in  it — origin  of  the  word  Copt — liturgies  used  by  this  peo- 
ple, 26,  27. 

Corporal — why  so  called— its  material  and  size— decree  of  Pope  Silves- 
ter concerning  its  material,  83;  of  the  Council  of  Rheims  also,  83, 
84;  who  first  prescribed  linen  corporals,  and  why — corporals  of  the 
Orientals,  84. 

"Corpus  Christi" — full  account  of  the  institution  of  this  feast— the 
author  of  its  Mass  and  office,  78. 

Council  of  Trent — what  it  enacted  concerning  Private  Masses,  8. 

Creed — see  Symbol. 

Cross— ancient  customs  regarding  the  manner  of  making  it,  181 ;  how 
the  Spanish  peasantry  make  it— the  various  ways  of  holding  the 
fingers  while  making  it  in  former  times,  182  ;  custom  of  the 
Orientals  in  this  respect,  182,  183;  singular  way  in  which  the 
fingers  are  disposed  by  the  Greeks— meaning  of  this  practice,  183; 
formula  used  by  the  Maronites  in  making  it,  184;  different  kinds 
of  crosses,  126,  127;  triple  cross  a  misconception — history  of  the 
double  cross,  or  that  generally  called  the  Archiepiscopal,  127 ;  the 
two  prelates  who  have  a  special  right  to  carry  a  double  cross 
to-day — Jansenistic  crosses — why  so  called — how  formed,  128  ; 
crosses  after  consecration,  what  they  mean,  338,  339 ;  made  also 
by  the  Orientals  at  this  part,  339. 

Cunegunda,  St.— her  trial  for  suspected  adultery  by  the  so-called  Mass 
of  Judgment — her  innocence,  16. 

Cuthbert,  St.— how  he  wept  when  chanting  the  Preface,  97. 

Dagon— false  god— falls  to  the  ground  before  the  Ark  of  the  Covenant,  80. 

"  Deo  gratias  "— when  said— custom  of  the  ancient  Christians  regarding 
it,  218. 

De  Vert— his  great  work  on  the  ceremonies  of  the  Church— his  singular 
views  regarding  the  literal  meaning  of  the  ceremonies  of  the  Mass, 

Diana— his  opinion  regarding  the  necessity  of  consecrating  the  chalice 

before  using  it  at  Mass,  76. 
"  Die  verbo  "—why  used  instead  of  "  Die  verbum  "  in  the  form  of  Com- 
munion, 367. 
"  Dies  Irse  "—its  history,  author,  and  merits— see  Sequences. 

Dikerion,  183. 

Diptychs — why  so  called — dissertation  on  them,  307  to  309;  their  use 
in  the  Oriental  Church,  309. 

General  Index.  405 

Discipline  of  the  Secret — what  it  was  and  how  long  it  prevailed  in  the 
Eastern  and  Western  Church — what  came  under  it,  1.  See  also 

Doctorate — its  insignia,  53;  doctor's  cap— ceremonies  gone  through  in 
conferring  it — the  oath  taken — what  institutions  in  the  United 
States  have  the  right  to  confer  the  degree  and  its  insignia,  53,  54; 
custom  of  Salamanca,  55. 

Dominicans — their  history  and  manner  of  saying  Mass,  107,  108. 

1  Dominus  vobiscum" — whence  taken — different  forms  of  salutation 
among  the  ancient  Hebrews — how  careful  they  were  to  have  God's 
name  or  some  of  his  peculiar  prerogatives  mixed  up  in  each,  208; 
how  the  Oriental  priests  salute  the  people  at  Mass,  209;  how- 
bishops  salute  after  the  "  Gloria  in  excelsis  " — see  Paxvobis. 

Duns  Scotus — his  analysis  of  the  Creed,  250. 

Easter  Sunday — how  regulated  so  as  not  to  be  celebrated  with  the  Jew- 
ish Passover,  326. 

Eckius — his  erroneous  notions  about  the  language  in  which  Mass  was 
first  celebrated,  20. 

Elevation — when  it  took  place  formerly— origin  and  cause  of  the  present 
discipline  in  this  respect,  332,  333;  elevation  in  the  Oriental 
Church — impressive  demonstrations  of  the  Orientals  at  this  part 
of  the  Mass,  335 ;  beautiful  profession  of  faith  in  the  Real  Pre- 
sence made  on  this  occasion  by  the  Copts,  336 ;  additional  parti* 
culars,  337,  338. 

Ely — description  of  its  ancient  cathedral,  167. 

Embolismus — addition  to  the  "  Pater  noster  " — see  Pater  nosier. 

Ephesus — general  council  held  here  in  431 — Nestorius  condemned,  24. 

Ephod,  35. 

Epimanikia — maniples  of  the  Orientals — their  description  and  history 
— their  material — how  those  worn  by  the  bishops  of  the  Eastern 
Church  have  images  or  icons  upon  them — what  they  are  called  by 
the  Syrians — by  the  Armenians — by  the  Russians,  45. 

Epistle — manner  of  reading  it — mystic  meaning  of,  215. 

Epitrachelion — Oriental  stole,  48. 

Esdras— one  of  the  Introits  taken  from  the  apocryphal  Fourth  Book,  198. 

Estrangelo — origin  of  the  word,  and  comments  upon  it,  24. 

Ethiopic  canon — meaning  of,  29. 

Eucharist — how  reserved  in  ancient  times — how  reserved  now — manner 
of  reserving  it  in  the  Oriental  Church — Coptic  custom,  87,  88,  89. 

Evangelists — how  symbolized  in  art,  and  why,  294. 

"  Exultet  " — author  of  this  anthem — its  music,  etc.,  96. 

Faithful — how  summoned  to  church  during  the  days  of  persecution,  151. 

Pasting  days  in  the  Eastern  Church— how  rigidly  they  keep  Lent,  171, 

406  General  Index. 

"  Filioque  " — who  first  inserted  it  in  the  Creed — why — when  this  wag 
supposed  to  have  been  done — what  Charlemagne  did  about  it— 
what  Pope  Leo  III.  said  to  the  emperor's  legates — what  the  Holy 
Father  did  to  preserve  the  Creed  inviolate — to  whom  the  authori- 
tative insertion  of  the  clause  is  ascribed — the  Greek  Catholics  are 
not  required  to  insert  it  now,  even  in  the  hearing  of  the  Pope,  258 
to  263.    See  also  Symbol. 

First  Sunday  of  Advent — how  regulated,  139. 

Gallic  Rite,  112. 

*  Gaudete  Sunday  " — why  so  called — what  color  cardinals  wear  on  this 
day  at  Mass  and  out  of  Mass,  65. 

Gemara — commentary  on  the  Jewish  Mishna,  146. 

"  Gloria  in  excelsis  " — its  author,  205;  discipline  of  the  early  Church  re- 
garding it,  205,  206. 

"Gloria  Patri,"  etc. — how  said  in  ancient  times — what  additions  the 
Council  of  Nicasa  made  in  it,  185,  186. 

God  Almighty — known  to  the  Hebrews  under  ten  different  names- 
meaning  of  each  name,  222. 

Golden  Rose — upon  what  occasion  it  is  exhibited  by  the  Pope — its  full 
history,  meaning,  blessing,  and  to  whom  generally  given,  65. 

Gospel — ceremonies  employed  in  reading  it — why  read  sideways — the 
meaning  of  the  crosses  made,  233 ;  why  all  stand  up — what  mili- 
tary knights  are  accustomed  to  do  here — kissing  the  Gospel,  cere- 
mony of,  234;  Gospel  at  Solemn  High  Mass,  235;  ceremonies 
attending  its  chanting,  and  their  meaning — full  explanation,  236, 
237;  respect  shown  to  the  Gospel  in  ancient  times — how  the  sacred 
volume  used  to  be  bound,  238 ;  Gospel  in  the  Oriental  Church- 
ceremonies  attending  its  reading,  239. 

Gospel  of  St.  John,  391 ;  how  reverenced  in  ancient  times — what  the  pri- 
mitive Christians  used  to  do  with  it — encomiums  passed  upon  it 
by  pagan  philosophers — when  it  became  obligatory  in  the  Mass, 

Gottes- Acker — meaning  of  this  expression,  and  full  history  of  how  ten 
derly  the  primitive  Christians  spoke  of  the  faithful  departed, 
344,  345. 

Gradual — why  so  called,  221. 

Grand  Lama — how  surrounded  by  lights,  135. 

Gregorian  Chant — see  Music. 

Gregorian  Style — how  Easter  Sunday  is  determined  by  this  mode,  326. 

Gregory  the  Great,  Pope — his  reliquary,  47 ;  what  he  did  for  chun* 
music — see  Music. 

Gudule's,  St. — Golden  Mass  said  there,  7. 

Hagiographa — the  books  that  were  included  under  this  name,  217. 

General  Index.  407 

"Hancigitur"— how  this  prayer  is  recited,  and  why—its  author— how 
recited  formerly,  and  how  the  Carmelites  now  recite  it— how  old 
the  present  custom  of  reciting  it  is,  322. 

Hebrew  words  retained  in  the  Mass,  203. 

Hegumenos— his  position  in  the  Oriental  Church,  71. 

Heliodorus— attempts  to  rob  the  Temple  of  Jerusalem